PARIS — French retail-to-luxury group PPR has appointed Pierre Bouissou as president and chief executive officer of fine jewelry house Boucheron, succeeding Jean-Christophe Bédos, who is leaving the group. Bouissou starts June 10.

This story first appeared in the May 17, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Most recently, Bouissou was managing director of men’s luxury footwear specialist Berluti, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

“With Pierre, I am confident we have someone with the skills and experience necessary to build on the work done so far and accelerate the positive trends that have already been put in place,” stated Alexis Babeau, deputy ceo of PPR’s luxury division.

Founded in 1858, Boucheron was the first jeweler to set up shop on Place Vendôme, winning a high-end clientele that included movie stars and royalty, from Greta Garbo to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, with items including its signature serpent designs.

In his seven years at the brand, Bédos is credited with steering Boucheron back to growth by pulling the focus from high fashion toward more timeless designs and showing fewer collections.

Under a three-year strategic plan outlined by then-Gucci Group ceo Robert Polet, who joined shortly after Bédos in 2004, Boucheron stemmed several years of losses and returned to profitability in 2006, one year ahead of schedule.

“I am proud and delighted to have successfully achieved the objectives that had been set for Boucheron,” said Bédos, who declined to reveal where he might be heading.

Commenting on the brand’s performance during the Baselworld watch and jewelry fair in March, the executive said Boucheron had outperformed its peers in 2009 but hinted at a more difficult environment in 2010.

“We have to accept that it’s not plain-sailing. That’s over. We live in a world of risk, in a world of challenges, and so there is no predictability,” he told WWD.

Although PPR does not break out figures for individual brands in its “other brands” division —which also includes Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Sergio Rossi —it said Boucheron recorded double-digit growth in the first quarter, helped by a “buoyant” performance in high-end jewelry.

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