By  on February 17, 2011

PARIS — Valérie Hermann —who partnered with designer Stefano Pilati to restore Yves Saint Laurent to profitable growth — is passing the baton, WWD has learned.

Chief executive officer at the French fashion house since 2005, Hermann assisted in recruiting her successor, former Lanvin ceo Paul Deneve, who will arrive at the management helm in mid-April.

Hermann said she plans to remain at YSL through the upcoming fall-winter 2011 sales campaign before moving to the United States to take up a new challenge outside of PPR, parent of the Gucci Group luxury division of which YSL is part.

She declined to identify her next step, and the identity of her next employer could not immediately be learned.

Emblematic of an amicable parting, she joined PPR chairman and ceo François-Henri Pinault in his Avenue Hoche office Wednesday for a joint interview to discuss the change ahead of PPR’s annual results presentation today.

Pinault announced the executive change at the meeting, also attended by Pilati, and highlighted a swing to profitability for YSL in 2010, to 11.6 million euros, or $15.4 million, versus a loss of 9.8 million euros, or $13.9 million, in 2009.

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