LVMH names billionaire Bernard Arnault's son, 29, CEO of watches

LVMH named Frederic Arnault to a newly created role as head of the luxury conglomerate’s watch division

Frederic Arnault Photographer: Cyril Marcilhacy/Bloomberg

The move gives the second-youngest of controlling shareholder Bernard Arnault’s five children working at the firm oversight of Swiss watch brands Hublot, Zenith and Tag Heuer. He was previously CEO of TAG Heuer, beginning in 2020.

The change is the latest shuffling of roles within LVMH for the chairman and founder’s children. Frederic’s younger brother Jean is in charge of fashion and leather goods maker Louis Vuitton’s watch unit, and has announced plans to revive dormant brands Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth. Jean will not report to his brother.

Frederic Arnault, who is 29, will report to Stephane Bianchi, who heads the company’s watches and jewellery division, according to an internal company announcement obtained by Bloomberg News.

Julien Tornare, previously the head of Zenith, will move to the CEO role at TAG Heuer, the Swiss brand known for its Carrera and Monaco chronographs as well as its more entry-level Aquaracer and Formula One models.

The company named Benoit de Clerck, a former Richemont executive at the Panerai brand as the new CEO of Zenith, known for its El Primero watch movements.

Tornare, de Clerck and Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe will report to Frederic Arnault, the company said in the internal announcement. The three companies have combined annual sales of about 1.6 billion Swiss francs (€2.04 billion), Women’s Wear Daily reported, citing Arnault.

Bloomberg reported in July on the plan for Arnault to exit TAG Heuer and for Tornare to take over the brand.

While LVMH is Europe’s largest luxury company, the watch division Arnault will oversee is smaller than watch brand groups owned by Richemont, Swatch Group AG and closely held Rolex SA, which also owns the Tudor brand.