IN THE SADDLE: The management handover is official at Hermès International: Friday was the last day of longtime chief executive officer Patrick Thomas, an Hermès spokeswoman confirmed. Axel Dumas, a sixth-generation member of the Hermès family, now has solo control of the management reins. He had been named co-ceo with Thomas last June as a transitional step ahead of the retirement of Thomas, now 66.
Thomas, who was the first non-family member to head Hermès, had two stints at the company, rejoining most recently in 2003 from whisky firm William Grant & Sons Ltd. and piloting it through a robust expansion phase. He had also been managing director at Hermès from 1989 to 1997, when he left 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.