PARIS — A new year, a new chief executive officer at Georg Jensen. The Danish fine jewelry brand has appointed Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt as its new ceo. She succeeds David Chu who will become chairman alongside his existing role of chief creative director.
The move comes after Marcus Teo, a veteran stylist and fashion editor, who had been hired in May 2014 by Chu to be Georg Jensen vice president and creative director, stepped down from his role in late 2015.
Swedish-born, Copenhagen-based Sjöstedt, a seasoned executive in the retail sector, was most recently ceo of German department store Karstadt, until July 2014 when she resigned after just six months. Before that, Sjöstedt was deputy global vice president of the Ikea Group.
The Investcorp-owned Danish fine-jewelry brand lauded Sjöstedt’s “proven track record” of “implementing omnichannel strategies to market.”
“Chu’s three-year contract was running to an end at the end of 2015,” a spokeswoman for Investcorp explained. “He will continue to play an integral role at Georg Jensen becoming chairman and continuing to act as chief creative director, principally focused on design and forging further innovative partnerships. Now is the right time for Eva-Lotta to come on board as ceo and lead Georg Jensen in the next phase of its development,” she said.
The private equity fund bought Georg Jensen from Denmark’s Axcel Capital Partners for $140 million in November 2012.
On the retail front, the focus has been on building up the brand in Europe and Mainland China. (The company employs 1,500 and counts over 100 directly operated stores, principally based across the Europe and Asia-Pacific.) Under Chu’s aegis, Georg Jensen has expanded its global retail presence, including with new stores in Munich and in London plus a design center in Beijing as part of its growth strategy in Asia — all in 2015. Also last year, the brand also returned to Baselworld after a five-year hiatus last year with an expanded fine jewelry and watch offer and launched collaborations with designers such as Marc Newson and Zaha Hadid.
In an interview last March, Chu said revenue growth was in the double digits and he was looking to double revenues over the medium term.