Jan 11, 2023
LVMH: the challenges facing Delphine Arnault and Pietro Beccari at the head of Dior and Louis Vuitton
Jan 11, 2023
French luxury group LVMH announced a leadership shuffle on Wednesday, naming new chief executives at major brands Christian Dior Couture and Louis Vuitton.
Delphine Arnault, a top executive at Louis Vuitton and daughter of billionaire LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, will become CEO of perfume and fashion house Dior, LVMH said in a statement. She will be supported in her new role by Charles Delapalme, Dior's deputy general manager in charge of commercial activities since 2018, who is being promoted to deputy general manager of the house.
Bernard Arnault said in a statement that his daughter's appointment is the "continuation of a career of excellence in fashion and leather goods". Under her direction, he said, the brand was able to "fly from record to record" and her "sharp eye and incomparable experience will be decisive assets in the continued development of Christian Dior."
With this appointment Delphine Arnault, aged 47, is consolidating her position as leader of the siblings, while Bernard Arnault, aged 73, has been preparing his succession for several years. For her, this new role means a return to her roots, since after starting her career with the consulting firm McKinsey as a consultant and participating in the development of the John Galliano company in 2000, she joined the management committee of Christian Dior Couture the following year, where she was deputy managing director until August 2013.
She will succeed Pietro Beccari, who will replace Michale Burke as head of Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury brand famous for its handbags bedecked with the initials "LV".
"The work accomplished by Pietro Beccari at Christian Dior over the last five years has been exceptional. His leadership has accelerated the desirability and success of this iconic house," commented Bernard Arnault. "The reinvention of the historic house on 30 Montaigne is one of the best illustrations of this. There is no doubt that Pietro will lead Louis Vuitton to even greater desirability and success," he concluded.
At the age of 55, Pietro Beccari is now at the head of the world's largest luxury brand, and is continuing his rise within LVMH, which he joined in 2006 as executive vice-president of marketing and communications at Louis Vuitton. He subsequently took over the management of Fendi in 2012, then that of Dior from February 2018, when he also became a member of the group's executive committee.
With this new appointment, the Italian manager, who began his career in marketing with Benckiser in Italy, Parmalat in the United States and Henkel in Germany, returns to Louis Vuitton, where the delicate task of finding a new head of the men's collections to succeed Virgil Abloh awaits him. A first decision that will be closely watched and will certainly give an idea of how he intends to lead the house.
In 2021, Louis Vuitton represented 27% of the sales of LVMH, whose turnover reached 64.2 billion euros. In recent years, beyond a fashion brand, it has strongly diversified, transforming itself into "a culture brand with a global audience", as Bernard Arnault emphasised at the group's general meeting on 21 April.
The choice to entrust the reins to Pietro Beccari, known for his audacity, his high standards and his determination, underlines the desire to open a new chapter at Louis Vuitton and to project the brand into the luxury market of the future. The artistic direction of the women's collections, which has been in the hands of Nicolas Ghesquière for ten years, may also be rethought for the occasion.
Bernard Arnault also praised Burke for his "great job" during 10 years at the helm of Louis Vuitton which helped to "widen the gap with our competition". Burke will take up a new position alongside Bernard Arnault, however the group did not give further details on this new role. These appointments will take effect from February 1.
Last December, Delphine Arnault's brother, Antoine was appointed chief executive of Christian Dior SE, the holding company controlling LVMH, and vice-chairman of the board, replacing Sidney Toledano. Antoine Arnault is also chief executive of Berluti and chairman of Loro Piana and is also taking on the role of head of image and environment for the luxury giant.
The other brothers have also all joined the group. Alexandre is executive director of products and communications for jeweller Tiffany. Frédéric is CEO of the Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer, while Bernard Arnault's fifth and youngest child, Jean, joined the group last year as director of marketing and watch development for Louis Vuitton. The weight of the family in the management of the group is well defined, and these recent reshuffles should logically have repercussions on the whole of the group's organisation chart.
FashionNetwork.com with AFP
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