José Luis Duran Tapped as Lacoste CEO

He succeeds Christophe Chenut, who is leaving the company but remains ceo of Devanlay SA, Lacoste’s global apparel licensee.

PARIS — José Luis Duran has been named chief executive officer of Lacoste SA, following its takeover last November by Swiss retail group Maus Frères SA in a deal valuing the maker of crocodile-logo polo shirts at 1 billion euros, or $1.3 billion.

This story first appeared in the January 9, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Duran succeeds Christophe Chenut, who is leaving the company. Duran remains ceo of Devanlay SA, Lacoste’s global apparel licensee.

The Lacoste SA board met Dec. 21, marking “the definitive transfer of property of the Lacoste SA company in its entirety to the Maus Group,” the company said.

Lacoste said the transfer would create a stronger link between its management and production and distribution. As the company prepares to celebrate its 80th anniversary this year, the brand said its main objectives were “reinforcing innovation, developing connectivity and strengthening brand consistency.”

The meeting designated a new board, consisting of Didier Maus, Pierre-André Maus, Thierry Halff, Jean-Bernard Rondeau and Duran, in addition to Sophie Lacoste Dournel and Béryl Lacoste Hamilton, both granddaughters of founder René Lacoste, who last year squared off in a bitter family feud for control of the firm.

In addition to appointing Duran, the directors elected Didier Maus president of the board. “I thank all of the former members of the board of directors for their contribution to the development and the international influence of the crocodile brand,” he said.

Maus Frères, controlled by the Maus and Nordmann families, has been in business since 1902 and controls the Gant, Aigle and Parashop brands. Its retail banners include Manor department stores, hardware and DIY chain Jumbo and sports retailer Athleticum.

The group posted 2011 sales of 5.3 billion Swiss francs, or $6 billion at average exchange, and employs some 22,000 people.