Lambert, Jérôme

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Jérôme Lambert is CEO of Richemont, having formerly been head of Montblanc and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Biography

Born in 1969, Jérôme Lambert is credited as part of a younger generation of watch company executives that has successfully transformed the industry. He joined Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1996 as the company's financial controller and took over as CEO in 2002 at just 32 years old.

Jaeger-LeCoultre was reinventing itself after the quartz crisis and had focused much of its energy on the Reverso line and development of in-house complications. Under Lambert's direction the company diversified its focus to other lines, with the more-conventional Master family becoming the point of focus. He invested in haute horology as well, making Jaeger-LeCoultre an expert resource within the Richemont family. He also expanded sales and focused the company on Boutiques, as was an industry trend.

Lambert became chairman of A. Lange & Söhne in 2009 during the world financial crisis, even as he continued as CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre. Richemont Group Chairman Johann Rupert set up a rivalry between Lambert and Georges Kern, who headed IWC. Kern was given control of Baume & Mercier and Roger Dubuis at that time. Kern would emerge as the leader, taking over Richemont's Specialist Watchmakers division in 2017 but fell out of favor and resigned five months later.

Jérôme Lambert was moved to become head of Montblanc in 2013. He moved quickly to revamp the company's lineup, pulling back from high-end pieces to focus instead on the entry-level luxury market. 56 new models were shown at SIHH in 2014. He merged the high-end Villeret operations (formerly Minerva) with the mass production facilities at Le Locle. Montblanc took on Tissot and Longines of Swatch Group in the market for accessible yet luxurious Swiss watches. He also brought forward historic pieces and references across the Montblanc range and collaborated with famed designer Marc Newson (with whom he had also collaborated at Jaeger-LeCoultre).

Lambert was given control of Richemont's Specialist Watchmakers division following Georges Kern's departure to take over Breitling in July 2017. Lambert became COO of Richemont overall in November 2017, giving him control of most of the company apart from the Jewelry division. In September 2018, Lambert was named CEO of Richemont, for which he had then worked for most of his career. The position had been held vacant since March 2017 when Richard Lepeu retired. This was a major shift for the company, which had sought to reinforce the autonomy of the "maisons".