PARIS — Beefing up management at its most profitable brand, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton named Serge Brunschwig, currently head of Sephora Europe, to the new post of general manager at Louis Vuitton, effective Sept. 1.
Brunschwig will be responsible for Louis Vuitton’s network of 292 boutiques in 45 countries, and for logistics. He reports to Marcello Bottoli, president and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton.
Brunschwig is no stranger to Vuitton. From 1995 to 1999, he headed its business in Southeast Asia, ultimately rising to president of LVMH Fashion Group for the Asia Pacific region. He was named president and ceo of Sephora Europe in March 2001.
Brunschwig’s successor at Sephora Europe has yet to be named. In the interim, Pierre Letzelter, president of Sephora group, will assume his responsibilities, while also guiding Sephora’s expansion into Eastern Europe and its drive to become profitable.
LVMH reiterated this week that Sephora, part of its struggling selective retail division, is expected to enter the black in 2003. Many credit Brunschwig with the turnaround. During his brief tenure at the perfumery chain, he put into place new category managers, back-office infrastructure and heightened in-store service, among other significant changes.
In 2001, Sephora pulled out of Germany and Japan, and its European and U.S. businesses continue to operate at a loss, fueling speculation that LVMH might ultimately shed the property.