PARIS — Francesco Trapani will relinquish his operational role as president of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s watches and jewelry division, effective March 1.
This story first appeared in the January 21, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It is understood that Trapani, great-grandson of Bulgari founder Sotirio Bulgari, wishes to take less of a driving role at LVMH, which he joined in 2011 after it acquired Bulgari, where he was chief executive officer at the time.
Trapani will become an adviser to group chairman Bernard Arnault on jewelry and will remain on LVMH’s board.
“Over the past three years, Francesco has successfully completed the integration of this prestigious brand within our group,” Arnault said. “I am delighted that I will continue to be able to draw on his wisdom and advice in the years ahead.”
LVMH acquired Bulgari in 2011 in a cash-and-share swap valued at more than $6 billion, which also put Trapani in charge of the larger company’s watch and jewelry activities.
The deal gave Trapani and members of his family control of 3.6 percent of LVMH’s share capital. The family has since sold off a large proportion of those shares and currently maintains a stake of between 1 and 1.5 percent, according to an LVMH spokesman.
In 2013, Trapani sold off LVMH shares worth nearly 13 million euros, or $17 million. This followed accusations of fraudulent earnings in Italy made against three Bulgari family members, including Trapani, by tax authorities, who seized assets belonging to the family worth 46 million euros, or $60 million.
LVMH’s jewelry brands — Bulgari, Chaumet, Fred and De Beers — will now report directly to group managing director Antonio Belloni.
Jean-Claude Biver, currently president of Hublot, is to take over coordination of the firm’s other watch brands, Tag Heuer and Zenith, with those brands’ ceo’s reporting to him and Belloni, the spokesman explained.
Arnault said Biver’s “experience and achievement within this sector speak for themselves, best illustrated by the remarkable success of Hublot. I am convinced that his entrepreneurial talent and creativity will add significant momentum to our other brands in the sector.”
Biver took a step back from day-to-day operations at Hublot in 2012, handing over the role of ceo and the operational reins to Ricardo Guadalupe, his former second in command.