Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Transfer Window Opens

At Audermars Piguet North America -

Courtesy of Audemars Piguet
Truth be told, I am of two minds on this latest news from Audemars Piguet.  On the one hand, the newly minted CEO of Audemars Piguet North America seems very qualified and very experienced.  He has lived a truly multicultural, international life and is not (for once) an "idiot son" dispatched to the US to either to groom him for a more senior position upon his return, or to get him out of the room so that the "grown ups" can talk.  Mr. Seward is a guy with real accomplishments behind him, and he is not a stranger to Audemars Piguet with a solid tenure behind him.  All of this is good.


My understanding is that Audemars Piguet's offices in North America are subsidiary offices.  Meaning that, to a large extent, they have been here for awhile and will continue to be here into the foreseeable future.  Meaning that, it might not be the craziest idea to try and identify some local talent that might, one day, be able to pilot the good ship Audemars Piguet North America. 

Now I make no claims to know or understand anything about Audemars Piguet, as every attempt I have made to get a press release on anything OTHER THAN their latest golf or tennis ambassador's exploits has tended to fall on deaf ears.  Who knows, maybe with a new head for North America they might become a little bit more inclusive in their press communications ; )

I want to be really, really clear - I am not an "America Firster", and without delving too deeply into the political situation here in the US, I will say that I strongly disagree with the majority of what the current US President espouses.  Having said that, I am also a strong believer in developing LOCAL talent.  When the room at the top is constantly being re-staffed by people from Swiss HQ (not necessarily Swiss, but never US), it creates a feeling for the locals working here that they will NEVER be considered to run the regional office.  And that is a short-sighted approach to developing your local subsidiary.  What reason would they have to stay on for other than a paycheck? 

But one last thing to consider is this - to some extent,  the general public LIKES the idea of an international brand leader running the North American office of a watch brand.  It lends a certain feeling of exclusivity and cachet value that certainly does speak to a certain audience.  

So, here is the release as it was received from Audemars Piguet -


Mr. Antonio Seward joins Audemars Piguet, North America as CEO effective August 1st, 2017.

Born in London to Argentinean parents – a diplomat father and an artist mother, Antonio holds a degree in History from Kings College, London and a Masters in Political Science from the Institute of Political Studies Paris (Sciences Po). Antonio’s diverse multicultural background was further developed after living in international cities including Buenos Aires, Paris, Miami and Singapore.

He began his career in watches as a Brand Manager for a regional distributor for several luxury watch brands, including Audemars Piguet, in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In 2008, he joined Audemars Piguet as Managing Director for Latin America and in 2010, moved to Madrid as CEO of Audemars Piguet, Spain and Portugal. From 2011 to 2013, he also oversaw the French market. Most recently, Mr. Seward served as General Manager, Audemars Piguet Southeast Asia.

With his years of leadership experience, Antonio brings vast perspectives in brand development. Together with his team, he will work with key partners in the region to further grow the business.

“Working for a superlative brand while experiencing so many unsurpassable moments has made my past ten years with Audemars Piguet truly unique. My focus for the Americas will be to connect directly with our clients and implement innovative ideas in both our retail experience and distribution. I look forward to the next chapter with Audemars Piguet and sharing our vision of a brand strongly attached to its rich history yet resolutely forward thinking and daring in its spirit.”

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