This was just announced on the corporate website of the Richemont Group:
Richemont regrets to announce the resignation with immediate effect of Mr Georges Kern. Mr Kern was Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital. He has stepped down from the Senior Executive Committee and the Group Management Committee and will no longer be standing for election to the Board of Directors of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA at the forthcoming annual general meeting of shareholders. Commenting on Mr Kern’s decision, Mr Johann Rupert, Chairman, said:
“Georges has been offered an interesting opportunity to become an entrepreneur. He has had a very successful career at IWC Schaffhausen and we wish him well.”
For a long time, Georges Kern was CEO of IWC and later on became (for a short period as it seems) the Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital. We will report to you as soon as we know more.
Update: According to this source, he might be going for Breitling.
Update 2: We received the following press release regarding Georges Kern and Breitling:
Grenchen – 14 July, 2017 – Georges Kern was most recently Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital at Richemont and in particular supervised the specialist watchmaking Maisons. Prior to that, he was CEO of IWC from 2002 to 2016, repositioning the brand to become one of the most successful and respected Swiss watch Maisons. Georges Kern started his career in the consumer goods industry at Kraft General Foods to move into the watch industry working for TAG Heuer from 1992-2000. As CEO and in this context shareholder of Breitling, Georges Kern‘s mission will be to foster the global development of one of the world’s most established watch manufacturers, and focus on further developing Breitling’s digital and retail footprint, especially with a view of accelerating growth in the important Asian markets. Théodore Schneider, who sold a majority stake to CVC Capital Partners and moved to chairmanship of Breitling, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Georges Kern to Breitling. His extensive experience and knowledge of the luxury watch industry and his creativity will further accelerate Breitling’s growth momentum.” Jean-Paul Girardin will remain with Breitling as vice president.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more