LONDON — Management changes are afoot at Bally, which has promoted longtime chief executive officer Frédéric de Narp to vice chairman, and moved the company’s chief operations officer Nicolas Girotto into the ceo role.
De Narp spent his career as a hard luxury man at Cartier and Harry Winston before changing tack and taking on the turnaround job at Bally, and was instrumental in finding the Chinese buyer.
De Narp began his career at Cartier in Tokyo, later taking on management positions with that brand in Switzerland, Italy and Greece before becoming president and ceo of Cartier North America, bringing much attention to that brand.
After leaving Cartier, he became president and ceo of Harry Winston, helping to engineer the sale of the company’s watch and jewelry business to The Swatch Group for $1 billion in 2012.
He joined Bally in late 2013 with the aim of revitalizing that company after years of unclear branding, unfocused marketing and spotty sales growth. He rapidly readjusted Bally’s positioning, put a bigger focus on women’s and set out to appeal to a younger audience.
He has since moved Bally back to the European Continent, with headquarters in Milan and Caslano, Switzerland.
Bally said Thursday that under de Narp’s leadership, the company has delivered strong financial performance with a 35 percent operating profit increase in 2018, matched by operational progress, which has seen a visible demographic shift toward a younger, more affluent customer.
The changes come after the Chinese textile and apparel giant Shandong Ruyi Group announced last year it would take a majority stake in Bally, although the deal has not yet closed. Shandong also controls SMCP and Hong Kong’s Trinity Group, and has said it wants to transform Bally into a global force in fashion and apparel.