PARIS — German luggage maker Rimowa has hired Rocky Jacob as chief product officer, signaling its ambition to ramp up innovation with products including intelligent objects, WWD has learned.
Jacob, previously lead industrial designer at smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest Labs, will be in charge of products, design, marketing and research and development. He will report to Alexandre Arnault, joint chief executive officer of the company, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Arnault, the son of LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault, holds a master’s degree in innovation at the elite Paris school Polytechnique and has been working closely with Ian Rogers, chief digital officer at LVMH, on initiatives such as the LVMH Innovation Award for start-ups.
Jacob was hired at Nest by cofounders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. Following its acquisition by Google, now Alphabet, Fadell left his role as ceo of Nest. A serial inventor who developed the iPod for Apple, Fadell was among the heavy-hitters on the jury of the LVMH Innovation award.
Jacob, who studied at the Offenbach University of Art and Design, will be returning to Germany, working at Rimowa’s headquarters in Cologne.
It’s the second high-profile appointment at Rimowa this month.
Hector Muelas, who rose to prominence in fashion as chief image officer at Donna Karan International, has been named as chief brand officer, charged with heading global brand marketing and communications, as reported.
Founded in 1898, Rimowa is credited with launching the first suitcases in aluminum and polycarbonate, in 1937 and 2000, respectively. Four-wheel designs and waterproofing are other breakthroughs.
More recently it introduced a case with an electronic tag that links it to a smartphone via Bluetooth, simplifying the check-in process.