Richemont’s HR head departs after remunerations row
Jun 16, 2020
On Friday, Swiss luxury goods giant Richemont, owner of Montblanc and jewellery brand Cartier, announced its Group EVP Human Resources Sophie Guieysse is stepping down “with immediate effect”, in the midst of a row over the group’s executive committee’s remuneration policy.
According to Swiss newspaper Le Temps, the Geneva-based luxury group announced on May 27 a 35.8% increase in its executive committee’s remuneration. For the financial year which closed at the end of March, the committee’s total remuneration amounted to CHF41.4 million (€38.7 million). At the same time, Richemont announced a 25% reduction in its employees’ annual bonus, and the fact that it would not top up its furloughed workers’ wages for June and July. Le Temps reported that the decision has already prompted a walkout of Richemont’s Italian employees in Milan and Turin.
Guieysse’s departure seems like a stopgap solution, an attempt at trying to defuse a tense situation. In a brief communiqué, Richemont indicated that Guieysse, a board member since 2018, will not attend the board meeting for the group’s next AGM, which is scheduled in September.
Guieysse is an engineering graduate from France's Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. She worked in executive and advisory roles at various French ministries before joining world luxury number one LVMH in 1997, then French broadcasting group Canal + in 2005. In October 2017, she took charge of human resources at Richemont, the world’s second-largest luxury group.
In the last financial year, Richemont recorded a 67% downturn in its operating profit, down to €931 million, while revenue instead grew by 2%, reaching €14.238 billion.
With reporting from AFP
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