MILAN — In its quest to refresh the senior management team and adopt a more digitally minded approach, Compagnie Financière Richemont has created the new position of chief technology officer, naming Jean-Jacques van Oosten to the role.
The parent of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and IWC, said Thursday that van Oosten, who has a 21-year background, primarily in the retail and digital sectors, will join the senior executive committee on Jan. 1, 2018. His latest role was as group chief digital officer and chief executive officer of Rewe Digital, a division of the German retail and tourism group.
Previously, he had held chief information officer positions at Travis Perkins Group, Tesco, Kingfisher, EDS and Unilever. Through his consulting company, van Oosten has advised retailers on their multichannel strategy, roadmap and transformation programs. He graduated from the London Business School and holds a Ph.D. in molecular genetics.
Richemont has also named a new group human resources director, Sophie Guieysse, who is to join the senior executive committee on Oct. 1 after a career spent partly at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Since 2016, Guieysse has been advising Dior on the future of luxury in the digital sphere, and prior to that she had spent 10 years at the Canal Plus group as human resources director and member of the executive committee. She has worked in various human resources roles at LVMH, and her last position at that company was as the group’s director of human resources.
She will succeed Thomas Lindemann, whom Richemont said was leaving for personal reasons. Lindemann, a 20-year veteran of Richemont, was named group human resources director and member of the group management committee in 2005.
Richemont’s chairman Johann Rupert said the creation of the chief technology officer position and van Oosten’s appointment “reaffirms Richemont’s commitment to meet the demands of today’s environment.”
Like many of the big luxury groups, Richemont has been relatively slow to embrace digital and think in terms of multichannel sales strategies, but that stance began to change earlier this year with the appointment of new, younger board members.
Rupert pointed out that both van Oosten and Guieysse come with strong digital backgrounds.
Van Oosten, Rupert said, has more than fifteen years of experience in “scaling, transforming and internationalizing online and multichannel businesses” while Guieysse brings experience across diverse cultural environments in the luxury and digital sectors.
“These appointments will strengthen significantly the group’s ability to address current challenges and bring Richemont into a new era of agility and performance,” he said.
The appointments come less than a month after the Richemont board approved a clutch of new, younger members with digital backgrounds as the company seeks to look at business through a multichannel lens.