Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Transfer Window gets Shattered!

As it is announced today that the man that took the hit for Tag Heuer is now back in the saddle with, wait for it... Gucci!

In one of the shortest job searches in watch executive history, it seems that Stéphane Linder can remove his resume from Career Builder.  There are times when I think you just couldn't make this stuff up, and this is one of them.

Former Tag Heuer CEO Stéphane Linder was unveiled to the press and presented with his "Gucci Jersey" today and with the recent turmoil in the "House of Gucci" stateside (translation - mass exodus of US staff), it is reasonable to assume that "Cause" has been introduced to "Effect".

In fairness, Mr. Linder worked his way up with Tag Heuer and was a Tag Loyalist, which made his sudden departure unsettling to say the least.  But also, when reviewing how things have unfolded prior to that, somewhat predictable.  Mr. Linder is more on the technical side, he is not really a finance/marketing guy which is really what Gucci's bread and butter is.  So whether or not this is a "rebound romance" or "true love" remains to be seen, but I certainly wish Mr. Linder the best of luck.

In the wake of this it seems that we can draw one of two possible conclusions:

1.  This has been in the planning stages for some time and was possibly even somehow connected to Mr. Sofisti stepping down in the manner that he did.

2.  Perhaps, in fact, what is unfolding is a bit of a full-scale transfer?

I know that it's a nutty idea, but stay with me here sports fans:

What if...

Michelle Sofisti was named the next CEO of Tag Heuer?  He is a member of the Biver tribe and if you think of qualified, capable folks out there footloose and fancy-free, he would certainly fit the bill for a brand like Tag Heuer.

The world does indeed work in mysterious ways, and stranger things have happened.  Nobody on the outside could have predicted Jean-Frédéric Dufour moving over to Rolex.  Yet it all seemed to move with a (dare I say it) predetermined smoothness.  Almost as if it was a series of puzzle pieces that Rolex and LVMH worked collaboratively to assemble.  There has been a slightly longer "lag time" here, but that could be down to things like possible non-competes, etc. 

So we shall wait, and we shall see.  Suffice it to say, in regard to the next CEO for Tag Heuer it is clear that "those who know won't say, and those who will say don't know."

I would not necessarily bet the farm on this, but if Sofisti does become the Tag Heuer CEO - you owe me a Coke ; )

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