Andrea Guerra

PARIS LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is stepping up its push into experiential luxury by naming Andrea Guerra as chief executive officer of its newly created LVMH Hospitality Excellence division, it said on Friday.

Guerra, formerly ceo of eyewear group Luxottica, will take over on March 16 as head of the entity, which encompasses Hôtels Cheval Blanc and the Belmond Hotels & Luxury Trains. He will be a member of the luxury conglomerate’s executive committee, reporting to LVMH chairman and ceo Bernard Arnault.

Guerra joins LVMH from Italian high-end food emporium Eataly, where he was executive chairman since 2015. Prior to that, he was senior strategic adviser to former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

“Hospitality is a fast-developing market for high-quality experiences, and a formidable opportunity for our group,” Arnault said in a statement. “Andrea’s leadership with large organizations and his expertise in the hospitality sector will allow us to bring our exceptional properties to the next level.”

Olivier Lefebvre will remain ceo of Hôtels Cheval Blanc, while Roeland Vos will stay as chairman and ceo of Belmond.

LVMH’s surprise $2.6 billion acquisition of Belmond last year was aimed at bulking up the group’s hospitality operations globally and position it as much of a leading player in experiential luxury as it is in fashion, leather goods and prestige wines and spirits.

“The future of luxury will be not only in luxury goods, as it’s been for many, many years, but also in luxury experiences, and we want to be in both segments,” Jean-Jacques Guiony, chief financial officer of LVMH, said at the time.

To wit, when the group’s La Samaritaine complex reopens this spring after a 15-year, 750-million-euro renovation, it will include a Cheval Blanc hotel overlooking the Seine river — the first urban location for the exclusive chain known for resort locations like Courchevel and St. Barths.

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