Louis Vuitton manager Ledru, Arnault son to lead Tiffany & Co

Record buy: A window display at the US luxury shop Tiffany & Co in Paris. Its purchase by LVMH, worth US$16bil, is the biggest in the luxury industry’s history. — AFP

PARIS: A top executive at Louis Vuitton and one of Bernard Arnault’s sons are set to take over management of Tiffany & Co after the biggest acquisition in the luxury industry by LVMH.

Anthony Ledru will lead the jeweller, with Alexandre Arnault taking on a top position inside the brand, according to people familiar with the appointments who asked not to be identified before an announcement.

Ledru leads global commercial activities at Louis Vuitton, and Alexandre is currently in charge of LVMH-owned suitcase maker Rimowa.

LVMH declined to comment on the appointments. Ledru and Alexandre Arnault didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The Tiffany purchase was scheduled to conclude soon.

With Ledru, the French company would be picking someone with extensive experience in the United States luxury market to succeed Alessandro Bogliolo. Prior to his six years at LVMH, Ledru held key roles at jewelry brands including Harry Winston and Richemont’s Cartier, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A Tiffany appointment would mark a return for Ledru: he had managed the company’s US and Canadian businesses between 2013 and 2014.

Bernard, the billionaire founder of LVMH, has named his children to key executive roles within his business empire. His daughter, Delphine, is executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, in charge of supervising all of the brand’s product-related activities.

LVMH shares gained 23% last year, and the conglomerate now has a market value of €254bil (US$313bil). That makes it the second-biggest company in Europe, after Nestle SA.

His son Antoine heads Berluti as well as image and communications at LVMH. Another son, Frederic, runs Tag Heuer, the watch brand.

Alexandre has run German brand Rimowa for the past four years. The 28-year-old, who is active on Instagram, presented a Rimowa case study to Harvard Business School students in February. His exact role at Tiffany wasn’t immediately clear.

This year is set to be challenging for luxury companies as many regions struggle with renewed lockdowns to tame the coronavirus pandemic. The industry is relying on demand from China to bolster sales.

LVMH’s deal to acquire Tiffany won shareholder approval in December.

The French company managed to get a small discount for its acquisition price for the iconic US jeweller after threatening to walk away from the deal. The purchase, worth US$16bil, is still the biggest in the industry’s history. — Bloomberg

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