LONDON — Compagnie Financiere Richemont AG said Joseph Kanoui would retire as chairman and chief executive of its Vendome Luxury Group, effective Jan. 31, 2000.
Kanoui, 62, will be succeeded by Johann Rupert, chief executive of Richemont. Rupert will remain active in the Richemont Group as a director of the family holding company, Compagnie Financiere Richemont, and chairman of its investment committee.
Kanoui has spent more than 25 years at Richemont’s luxury goods operations, first at Cartier and then at Vendome. Rupert said Richemont owed Kanoui “an enormous debt of gratitude” for the role he has played in delivering a consistent growth record at Vendome, which owns Cartier, Chloe, Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc, Piaget, Baume & Mercier and Lancel.
Kanoui’s retirement was announced by Richemont’s chairman, Dr. Nikolaus Senn, at the company’s annual general meeting last week in Zug, Switzerland.
Senn brought shareholders up to date on the performance of the Vendome luxury goods interests, saying that the positive trends seen in the latter part of the last financial year had continued.
“In the Far East, in particular, the recovery in demand for the group’s luxury products has been sustained, with Japan continuing to perform well,” he said.
“Operating profit has reflected the satisfactory performance in terms of sales and, although the first months of the year are not necessarily a reliable indicator of the pattern for the year as a whole, we currently expect that Richemont’s luxury goods business will once again produce good results.”
In the last fiscal year ended March 31, Vendome produced operating profit of about $421 million on sales of $2.4 billion.