PARIS — Stephen Urquhart is retiring as president of Omega after 17 years, Swatch Group announced on Thursday.
He will be succeeded by Raynald Aeschlimann, vice president sales at Omega since 2001 and a member of the extended group management board since 2013.
“Stephen Urquhart is taking the opportunity of his forthcoming 70th birthday to retire from his posts of president of Omega and member of the extended group management board of the Swatch Group,” the company said in a brief statement.
“Stephen Urquhart will remain closely associated with the Swatch Group and will be available for special projects and consultancy assignments,” it added.
As head of one of the world’s largest watch brands, Urquhart has overseen the introduction of key technologies, including its Co-Axial mechanical movement and Omega’s Master Chronometer certification.
He also brought on board celebrity brand ambassadors including George Clooney, Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman and Eddie Redmayne. Omega is also known as the long-term official timekeeper of the Olympic Games and for its partnership with the James Bond movie franchise.
A Swiss and British citizen, Urquhart studied industrial management at the University of Neuchâtel and began his career at Omega in 1968. From 1974 to 1997, he worked at Audemars Piguet, where he became joint chairman and delegate of the board of directors from 1989 onwards.
Urquhart returned to Swatch Group in 1997 as president of Blancpain and took over at Omega in 1999.