Sixth gen to take over at Hermes, Maxime Carmignac takes over the family business’s UK office, and M&S family member says the retailer needs to modernise.
Hermes sixth-gen Axel Dumas has been announced as the new chief executive of the French luxury goods manufacturer, having been chief operating officer at the company since 2011.
He will take over from current chief executive Patrick Thomas, who is set to retire from January 2014.
Dumas, 43, entered the family business in 1993 – having previously worked for BNP Paribas in China and New York – and mainly worked in the jewellery and leather goods divisions.
Before joining the family business, Dumas, 43, graduated from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, Harvard Business School and has a degree in philosophy from La Sorbonne.
Hermes, established in 1837, is still majority owned by the family, which has 72% of shares, and of the 40 members of the sixth generation, roughly a quarter work for the family business today.
Maxime Carmignac, the daughter of Carmignac Gestion’s founder, has been appointed managing director for the family firm’s UK office.
Established in 1989 by Edouard Carmignac, the family business is one of Europe’s leading asset management firms, and Carmignac will focus on the company’s long-term strategy in the UK in her new role.
She has worked with the firm since 2006, and has been a member of the board of directors since 2008. She had previously worked for management consultancy firms in New York and London.
The last remaining family member to sit on the board of M&S has said the company has not moved quickly enough with the times, as it is revealed general merchandising sales have slid for an eighth consecutive quarter.
The British multinational retailer revealed at its annual general meeting this week that general merchandise sales – and clothing in particular – remain on the decline, falling 1.6%, while food sales saw a 1.8% rise. There was an 8.7% increase in international sales and a 29.9% increase in ecommerce sales.
Sir David Sieff, the great grandson of founder Michael Marks and director of M&S from 1972-1997, said the company had failed to modernise and needed to prioritise the customer.
However, he put his backing behind current chief executive Marc Bolland, who says shareholders will see an improvement in the quality of the clothing when the autumn and winter collections are revealed later this month.