Georges Kern Exits Richemont for Breitling

By Jonathan Bues

Georges Kern from his time as CEO of IWC.

Earlier this morning, news broke of the unexpected resignation of Georges Kern from the Richemont Group. Kern, who has been the Head of Watchmaking, Marketing, and Digital for the group for the past four months, had previously served as CEO of IWC Schaffhausen and has worked at parent company Richemont for the past 17 years.

Kern leaves Richemont to join Breitling. Long owned and controlled by the Schneider family of Switzerland, Breitling was recently acquired by CVC Capital. It’s been reported that Kern has personally acquired his own stake in Breitling.

In an announcement sent out by Richemont, the company said business would continue to go on as planned and that its Watchmaking, Marketing, and Digital division will report to the Senior Executive Committee:

“Richemont regrets to announce the resignation with immediate effect of Mr. Georges Kern. Mr. Kern was Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital. He has stepped down from the Senior Executive Committee and the Group Management Committee and will no longer be standing for election to the Board of Directors of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA at the forthcoming annual general meeting of shareholders.”

Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert wished Mr. Kern good luck in a statement. “Georges has been offered an interesting opportunity to become an entrepreneur. He has had a very successful career at IWC Schaffhausen and we wish him well.”