Swarovski Adds Non-Family to Board

MajorsNov 19, 2021

Swarovski Adds Non-Family to Board

The search continues for a new CEO and CFO, possibly outside of the family.

The Swarovski flagship store in Zurich. The company has named new directors to its board as it continues the search for a CEO and CFO. (Image courtesy of Swarovski)
Wattens, Austria—Swarovski’s executive team has been largely a family affair since the company’s founding, but its board recently welcomed five non-family members.

Luisa Delgado, the lead operating director of German toy company Schleich, will join the board. She is the former CEO of Procter & Gamble’s Nordic region and of the luxury eyewear manufacturer Safilo Group.

New board member Annalisa Loustau Elia, an independent director at brands like Legrand and Campari, was previously on Cartier’s management team and held roles at Procter & Gamble, L'Oréal, and the Printemps Group.

Manuel Martinez has more than 25 years of human resources experience in the luxury and retail sectors and has held senior positions at United Biscuits, Hermès, BIC, Louis Vuitton and German conglomerate JAB.

Robert Singer, a veteran of the branded luxury goods business, was the former chief financial officer of Gucci Group NV, former COO of Abercrombie & Fitch, and former CEO of Barilla Holding. He’s done board work for brands like Tiffany & Co., Versace, Jimmy Choo, and Benetton.

Markus Fiechter, the former CEO of the Minibar AG Group and Jacobs Holding AG, has also joined the board.

Swarovski family members Robert Buchbauer, Markus Langes-Swarovski and Mathias Margreiter are still on the board.

 Related stories will be right here … 

“The newly appointed committee is intended to act as a link to improve interface management between the owner families and the company,” said Swarovski in a press release about the board changes.

They went into effect Nov. 15.

During its constituent meeting, Swarovski International Holding elected Luisa Delgado as president of the board of directors, with Robert Buchbauer acting as deputy.

The company is on the hunt to fulfill the CEO and CFO positions following its latest executive shake-up.

According to WWD, this October, board member Buchbauer, the great-great-grandson of the company's founder, Daniel Swarovski, stepped down from the CEO role. Fellow board member and Swarovski family member Margreiter stepped down as CFO.

Buchbauer and Margreiter had been appointed CEO and CFO as part of a large leadership switch in Swarovski’s restructuring plan in May 2020.

Nadja Swarovski, the long-time public face of the company, stepped away from her role at that time, though she remains on the executive board.

During his short tenure in the top spot, Buchbauer cut around 600 positions amid the COVID-19 crisis as he looked to streamline the company and make changes to its organizational structure, including the merging of marketing and sales activities.

He also appointed fashion veteran Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert to Swarovski’s first creative director position.

Currently, Michele Molon is acting as interim CEO while Frederik Westring is interim CFO. 

Swarovski said it is open to non-family members in its replacement search. 

“This process should be completed with the greatest care, but as quickly as possible,” the company said.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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