LVMH appoints new CEO of Louis Vuitton, puts Arnault's daughter in charge of Dior

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  • Delphine Arnault will be CEO of Christian Dior
  • Pietro Beccari to replace Michael Burke at Louis Vuitton
  • Burke continues to work with Arnault

PARIS, Jan 11 (Reuters) – LVMH (LVMH.PA) Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault has revamped the top management of his luxury goods empire, strengthening his family’s grip with the appointment of his daughter Delphine to lead to Christian Dior and naming a new boss for Louis Vuitton.

Pietro Beccari, who has headed Dior since 2018, is moving to replace longtime Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke, 65.

“Both are well respected; logical promotions within the group,” said Natasha Brilliant, an analyst at Credit Suisse.

Shares in LVMH, Europe’s most valuable company at around 380 billion euros ($408 billion), rose as much as 2% to hit new highs. Luxury stocks have been boosted recently by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China, a key market.

Delphine Arnault, 47, worked at Louis Vuitton for the past decade alongside Burke and spent a dozen years at Dior.

Burke, who is Bernard Arnault’s most senior lieutenant and also president of jewelry brand Tiffany, will continue to work alongside Arnault’s father, the company said in a statement, without detailing his new role.

One of the fashion industry’s most influential executives, Burke has overseen the breakneck growth of Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury brand, playing a key role, for example, in elevating street styles to the realm of luxury in recent years.

Meanwhile, Beccari, who also previously led LVMH-owned brand Fendi, boosted Christian Dior sales threefold to 6.6 billion euros during his tenure, according to Citi estimates. LVMH does not provide a breakdown of annual sales for its brands.

RESORT SHOPS, STAR-STUDED FASHION SHOWS

Beccari leveraged the brand for new products, including beach accessories such as surfboards and hammocks, bringing them closer to customers by establishing temporary retail outlets in resorts including Mykonos, Greece and Santa Barbara, California.

The executive led a major renovation of the label’s historic address on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, transforming it into a grand flagship with restaurants and a museum, reviving foot traffic in the neighborhood.

Dior’s runway shows in Paris, featuring global stars such as K-pop singer Jisoo and Rihanna, draw crowds of screaming fans, and the brand lit up social media with a show by men’s designer Kim Jones in Egypt last month, with the pyramids in the background.

Bernard Arnault is often seen in the front row, flanked by his children.

“Succession planning across strategic roles has been critical to the success of LVMH’s top brands over the past 20 years, so today’s moves are significant,” said Thomas Chauvet, an analyst at Citi.

SUCCESSION PLANS

The announced changes, which take effect in February, follow the recent appointment of Antoine Arnault, eldest son of Bernard Arnault, to head the family holding company.

Reinforcing the family’s hold on their empire also comes amid a wave of high profile successions at other fashion companies in Europe, including Prada (1913.F) and Zara owner Inditex.

Bernard Arnault, 73, has shown no signs he plans to step down anytime soon and the company last year raised the maximum age of its CEO from 75 to 80.

All of their children occupy management positions in the group’s brands, carefully groomed by top executives as they rise through the ranks.

Of the five, Delpine Arnault was the most involved in fashion, as head of the group’s fashion awards for new designers.

Delphine and Antoine, 45, are children from their father’s first marriage.

Alexandre Arnault, 30, is responsible for products and communications at Tiffany, while Frederic Arnault, 28, is CEO of another brand in the group, TAG Heuer. The youngest son, Jean Arnault, 24, directs marketing and product development for Louis Vuitton’s watch division.

As part of the management changes, the company is also folding Tiffany into the watch and jewelry division, under the management of Stephane Bianchi.

LVMH shares brilliance

($1 = 0.9308 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mimosa Spencer; editing by Mark Potter and Jason Neely

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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