So word has reached even the sleepy environs of Santa Barbara on this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that Jean-Claude Biver has picked up the gauntlet and will emerge from his semi-retirement to lead Tag Heuer and Zenith.
Now anyone who reads this little "bloggy-wog" will know that I am a bit of a Biver fan. He is always good for an interesting story and makes himself available for comment. I remember when he announced that he was stepping down from Hublot and handing things over to Ricardo Guadalupe. I had asked during that interview if this was, in fact, the last stop of the "Biver Express". This is from that interview:
|Courtesy of HUBLOT|
JH - You are, in many ways, one of the last of the "Young Turks" who reinvented the mechanical watch industry in the 80s and 90s. You have had your hand on some of the most impressive brand revivals of any industry. Is Hublot really the last stop?
JCB - Yes, I believe that Hublot is the last stop, because I doubt I will find the energy to start one more adventure. I also believe that if you have had three successful experiences in your life you should rather say thank you and try to transmit you knowledge rather than trying to achieve a fourth success.
Now in fairness, the argument could be made that he is still in what he referred to as the "Third Quarter" wherein he is transmitting his knowledge. But for many of us who make up the "horological fourth estate", this is not exactly "small news", and it seems that this is not exactly what was being talked about back in 2012. So as is often the case, it is not easy to walk away - and like a lion in winter, it is very hard to walk away completely.
Now not being an expert on the hierarchy of LVMH, perhaps this is a "front office", "ceremonial/emeritus" type position. But somehow I don't think so. Tag Heuer and Zenith aren't exactly small enterprises, and I think if this was truly meant to be "semi-retirement" Mr. Biver would be staying right where he was.
So let us hope that this will be his fourth success, but it seems clear that the desire to do more is still there.