Pomellato goldsmiths.

PARIS Albert Bensoussan has stepped down as chief executive officer of Kering’s luxury watches and jewelry division, the group said.

“Albert Bensoussan has decided to pursue a personal project outside of Kering. Kering thanks him warmly for his contribution over the last five years at the head of the watches and jewelry division,” Kering said in a statement sent to WWD.

Bensoussan joined Kering in 2014 as part of a management shuffle designed to speed the growth of its fashion and “hard” luxury brands. As the group transitioned into a pure luxury player, fashion brands like Gucci posted explosive growth, while the watches and jewelry division saw a more mixed performance.

Bensoussan arrived at Kering just as growth in the global watch industry was slowing because of a sharp reduction in demand from Asia and a drop in spending by Russian tourists.

In an effort to turn around the segment, he appointed Patrick Pruniaux last year to run Girard-Perregaux, in addition to his role as ceo of Ulysse Nardin. Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo and Qeelin make up the jewelry brands in the division.

The heads of the watch and jewelry houses will now report directly to Kering group managing director Jean-François Palus, a spokeswoman for Kering said.

Prior to joining Kering, Bensoussan had been an independent consultant after launching Louis Vuitton into the watches and jewelry category. He originally joined LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 1994, holding positions at Givenchy before being appointed sales and marketing director for the group’s watches and jewelry division. Before that, he spent 10 years at Cartier.

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