PARIS — Baccarat, the 257-year-old French crystal-maker, has appointed Margareth “Maggie” Henriquez as its chief executive officer, effective April 1.
Currently the CEO of Krug Champagne, Henriquez has more than 30 years of experience in top executive positions, leading brands from groups such as Moët Hennessy, Nabisco and Seagram, mainly in Latin America and France.
The seasoned executive, who has been serving on Baccarat’s board of directors for more than seven years, will succeed Hervé Martin, who held the company’s CEO role since early 2020. He is to remain in an advisory position and as an independent non-executive director on the crystal-maker’s board.
In a statement, chairman of the board Bryant Stone credited Martin with “successfully navigating the challenges of the pandemic and stabilizing Baccarat’s operations” by leading the company through “a series of transformational projects in addition to achieving a record year, surpassing the company’s past best performance of 2019, with market-share growth across all product categories and geographies.”
Henriquez said she had “developed tremendous regard for Baccarat’s heritage, renowned artisans and its contribution to society through its unique savoir-faire and craftsmanship” over her years on the company’s board and hoped to leverage the talents of its workforce to “capture the next waves of growth for Baccarat.”
Her nomination comes as the company faced two troubled years after falling into the hands of creditors once owner Fortune Legend Ltd. defaulted on payments. Despite buzzy collaborations like the Crystal Clear collection designed by Virgil Abloh, Baccarat was sharply hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and a French commercial court nominated two temporary receivers in September 2020, against the backdrop of the dispute between its controlling shareholder and its creditors.
Baccarat had reported revenues down almost 30 percent in reported terms for the first six months of 2020, and a net loss of 11.5 million euros during the period.
The group has returned to growth this year. In the first half of 2021, it registered revenues of 86.6 million euros, up 19.9 percent versus 2019, and an EBITDA margin above 17.3 percent, against 4 percent in 2019.
The company is now under the management of a group of funds led by Hong Kong-based private alternative credit fund Tor Investment Management, which subsequently delisted Baccarat from the Paris stock exchange in 2020.
Founded in 1764, Baccarat is one of Europe’s oldest purveyors of exclusive crystal creations, ranging from made-to-measure chandeliers to Champagne glasses and jewelry pieces.
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