LONDON – British jeweler Garrard has named Joanne Milner chief executive officer. She succeeds Eric Deardorff, who has left the company.
Milner, who said her focus will be on Garrard’s domestic market, was previously ceo of Debrett’s Ltd. She had served in that role since 2012, leading its global expansion and expanding into new areas of business.
Milner opened the first overseas office in China in 2014, and launched the Debrett’s 500 to recognize Britain’s most influential people. Debrett’s has also published The Peerage since 1769 and People of Today since 1982.
Previously she worked in private equity and began her career at Arthur Andersen, where she specialized in corporate finance. She has worked for Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Development Capital. She worked in the Hong Kong office of LDC, investing in management buyouts in China in the retail and education sectors.
“Garrard is a unique brand, having designed for royal families for centuries,” she said. “There are not many companies that can point to the fact that their archive is showcased at the Tower of London. While Garrard is a powerful international brand, our presence in the U.K. is very important for us, and I shall be directing a lot of my energy towards the domestic market.”
Jeweler Stephen Webster, who was named chairman of Garrard last June, said he is looking forward to working with Milner.
“I believe she has the vision, energy and experience to propel the brand forward. Her understanding of the luxury market will be invaluable as will her experience of leading a venerable brand in the modern world,” he said.
Garrard is controlled by Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., which also has a stake in Webster’s eponymous jewelry brand.