NEW MAN IN THE SADDLE: HERMES SAID LURING TOP LANCOME EXEC
Byline: Miles Socha / Jennifer Weil / With contributions from Robert Murphy
PARIS — Hermes International is adding a thoroughbred to its management stable.
WWD has learned the luxury firm has lured a top L’Oreal deputy, Lancome’s managing director Fabrice Boe-Dreyfus, to a key position as the new right hand to Hermes chairman Jean-Louis Dumas. Boe-Dreyfus’ title could not immediately be learned, but it is believed he will become either president or managing director.
Neither Dumas nor Boe-Dreyfus, who was said to be traveling, could be reached for comment Friday. An Hermes spokesman declined to comment. Sources said Boe-Dreyfus has already submitted his resignation, but L’Oreal refused to comment as well.
Boe-Dreyfus’ appointment comes in the middle of ongoing speculation about the pecking order at Hermes and the ultimate succession plan should Dumas one day decide to retire. He is 64. It is believed more than a dozen family members have roles in the upper echelons of the business as well.
The new appointment will undoubtedly be a talking point when shareholders gather June 3 for the annual meeting of Hermes shareholders.
While extremely affable and charismatic, Dumas is also intensely private, rarely granting interviews or discussing in detail the business even as it continues to grow at a gallop. Last year, Hermes’ net income leaped 15.3 percent to $177.5 million, while sales advanced 6 percent to $1.1 billion.
Boe-Dreyfus apparently will fill a position previously held by Alain Bucaille, who reportedly left the company a year ago and was replaced with an interim successor. He will arrive at Hermes as the luxury group continues its signature slow-but-steady development. After opening 12 stores last year, the firm is on track to open seven this year and increase production capacity for leather goods, silks and tableware.
When Boe-Dreyfus, 39, took the helm of Lancome in September 2000, he was considered something of a wunderkind. He had already spent some six months heading up L’Oreal’s Helena Rubinstein brand and worked in the firm’s consumer products division.
Lancome, which most recently introduced its first global men’s scent, Miracle Pour Homme, after the launch of Miracle for women in 2000, generates sales of slightly less than $1.78 billion worldwide, according to industry sources. The brand’s volume grew on a like-for-like basis by 5.1 percent last year.