PARIS — Patrick Thomas has rejoined Hermès International as the luxury firm’s number two executive.
Thomas, who had been managing director at Hermès from 1989 to 1997, will succeed Fabrice Boe-Dreyfus, a former L’Oréal executive who recently exited the company after 15 months, as reported. In a separate release Tuesday, Hermès confirmed Boe-Dreyfus’ departure, but declined to elaborate.
Thomas, 56, took his new post Tuesday. He rejoins Hermès from William Grant & Sons Ltd., the manufacturer of Glenfiddich whisky, where he has been chief executive since April 2000. He left Hermès in 1997 to join Lancaster Group as president and executive vice president of its parent, Coty Inc.
Thomas had come to Hermès originally from the Pernod Ricard spirits group. He returns to the fashion fold at a rough period for the luxury sector, but at an exciting moment for Hermès, which unveils the first ready-to-wear line designed by Jean Paul Gaultier next spring.
Hurt by negative currency effects, sales at Hermès fell 3.2 percent to $336.4 million in the first quarter versus $347.6 million a year ago, as reported, but organic growth amounted to 5.5 percent in the period. Hermès is slated to report second-quarter sales Aug. 13.