What if Julien Tornare (photo below), the current CEO of Zenith, were to take over the management of TAG Heuer vacated by the departure for Bulgari of the almost thirty-year-old Frédéric Arnault, the second youngest son of Bernard Arnault?
This rumor is swirling. It comes from the very serious Swiss German daily NZZ (Neue Zurcher Zeitung) and was echoed by Rob Batesle of the American magazine JCK.
A life after Babin?
Is it time for Jean-Christophe Babin, 64, to retire? If so, it will be strange to no longer have on the watchmaking scene this former TAG Heuer man, who became CEO of Bulgari in 2013. This endearing father-founder of, among other things, Geneva Watch Days and perhaps of an unsurpassed success story driven by perhaps the most distinctive management style within the LVMH galaxy.
As for the position of Zenith CEO, the name of Benoit de Clerck is in the air. Currently COO of Officine Panerai (Richemont Group), he could replace Julien Tornare at Le Locle.
Arnault’s children more and more involved
So, it seems, the circle has come full circle, and French multi-billionaire Bernard Arnault is in the process of successfully establishing his dynastic descendants at the top of a publicly-traded group: Frédéric Arnault at Bulgari, the last-born Jean Arnault at Louis Vuitton Watches, as director of marketing and development, (he is reportedly very passionate about watches and keen to revive Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta), the only daughter Delphine at the helm of Dior while Alexandre continues to run the Tiffany jewelry chain acquired by LVMH in 2021, after having been at the helm of suitcase manufacturer Rimowa whose takeover he himself orchestrated. Finally, Antoine, the eldest son, recently took over control of the Christian Dior SE holding company, the controlling body of the LVMH group.