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Richemont CEO, CFO to retire as part of large management overhaul

Richard Lepeu and Gary Saage will retire from the Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company in 2017.

Richemont will be putting an end to its chief executive positions as profits from sales of luxury timepieces and leather goods continue to plunge, marking the most significant management overhaul in years. Founded in 1988, the Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company owns several of the world’s most iconic luxury labels, including Cartier and IWC.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Lepeu and Chief Financial Officer Gary Saage will retire in 2017, along with eight directors who will also step down. Richemont added on Friday that new managers will be leading watchmaking and operations.

According to Chairman Johann Rupert, brand chiefs will be reporting directly to the board. The move is welcomed by investors as stock was sent rising up to 9.4 percent in Zurich in spite of the first-half profit’s 43 percent plunge.

The last time the company went through a similar shakeup of this magnitude was back in 2009 when Rupert returned as CEO to navigate the company’s way out of a financial crisis.

Rupert adds that it would be ‘unfair’ to hold a single person responsible for a huge company that spans almost 40 units. “We will never have a similar CEO again,” he said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Now it’s time for us to start looking at another generation.”

This story first appeared on Luxury Insider.