Marco Schubert appointed new Vice President of Europe region

Marco Schubert appointed new Vice President of Europe region

Stuttgart. Marco Schubert will be taking on the role of Vice President Region Europe at Porsche on 1 July 2021. Currently he is President of the Audi Sales Division China. Schubert will follow in Barbara Frenkel’s footsteps who herself will move to the Board of Management.

Marco Schubert appointed new Vice President of Europe region

Marco Schubert appointed new Vice President of Europe region

“We are delighted to gain such an experienced person for our European sales region”, says Detlev von Platen, member of the Executive Board responsible for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG. “Thanks to his ample international experience at various automotive brands, Marco Schubert is the ideal appointment to this role.”

Marco Schubert has been working in his current role at Audi in China since 2018. Prior to this, he headed up sales Asia and Overseas at Skoda Auto a.s. Between 2014 and 2017 Schubert had been Managing Director at Audi in Sweden. Before that, he had already been working as the head of Audi’s Northern Europe region for three years.

Juan Serrano - CEO GRUP BALFEGÓ

JUAN SERRANO CEO OF GRUP BALFEGÓ

Manel and Pere Vicent Balfegó, cousins and founders of the company Balfego Are fifth generation members of a large fishing family originating from L’Ametlla de Mar in Tarragona, Spain. In the 80s, they harnessed their vision and decided to invest their time and energy exploring the possibilities of a bluefin tuna fishery. After many years of enquiry, hard-work and investment, they have gone on to establish themselves as the world’s leading company in terms of the understanding, capture, breeding, fishing, production and distribution of bluefin tuna.

Balfegó wild tuna live in pools off the coast of L’Ametlla de Mar. For up to a year they live here, feeding exclusively on wild fish. Dedication has now brought Balfego well earned product recognition, a benchmark of excellence establishing them as the only company in the world which extracts tuna from the sea at its optimum point of fat, dependent on customer demand. The extraction method used at Belfego guarantees a stress-free product, without ‘yake,’ which in Japanese means ‘burned meat,’ offering customers therefore a product of excellent gastronomic value as now found in many of the world’s best restaurants.

 Juan Serrano - CEO GRUP BALFEGÓ

Juan Serrano – CEO
GRUP BALFEGÓ

ABOUT JUAN SERRANO, CEO OF GRUP BALFEGÓ

Career path

I began my professional career at Philips Lighting, in the Procurement and Stock Management and Production Planning departments. Later, I went on to direct a project, a small snack and chips company that was later sold to the Arroz Sosarana Group, which I a shareholder in, and a member of the Board of Directors as Group Secretary. After that, I joined KH7, a company that, during my time, came to be the leader in the kitchen cleaners and degreasers segment. Next, I set up a business providing clients strategic advice and human resource selection and management. I was also part of Forenqui Laboratories. Later I was in a construction company and finally I joined Grup Balfegó in 2007.

Early days in Balfegó

I started as an external consultant advisor to Balfegó. This came about through Xavier Subirats, a former fellow student who is now Vice-Dean of the Catalonian Economists Society. Initially, I used to come in one day a week, later two, then three … Eventually I was working there full time, leaving behind other projects. I have been at Balfegó since then, in the position of the Group Managing Director.

What was the company like when you arrived?

It was a company with a particularly modern structure, a building that was only a year old, wonderful offshore facilities… but the company sold exclusively to, and dedicated itself 100% to Japan, and because of this, the product became a commodity. Our activity began with fishing the live fish. These captured tuna were fattened between July and October, and sold in October to November. This meant that we had to wait for the following year’s fishing season to have more specimens available to sell. In view of these unproductive periods, we elected for the fresh consumption strategy, adjusted to customer demand. Little by little, we were exporting to 32 countries in the world, quickly becoming the world’s leading company in fresh consumption.

At the structural and organizational model level, we also implemented a total transformation in which technology and innovation played a primary role.

We started investing in research, becoming a very powerful source of knowledge about bluefin tuna. So much so, that we were the first to intervene in the tuna reproduction cycle, proposing fishery control measures. In the end, we became a spokesperson that the media went to when they needed to learn about the species and the sector.

In addition, we design a marketing strategy to create a brand of considerable international prestige. This included a traceability system to monitor ourselves and used technology to provide information (weight, size, date of capture, fat percentage and all the itemised health and microbiological certificates), both to the chefs and end consumers alike.

In addition, we are the only ones who routinely specify the level of fat in each individual tuna, and so are able to optimally attend to the taste preferences of our customers.

How is Balfegó nowadays, and what are the perspectives for the future?

At a commercial level, we can say that we are a leading company, internationally recognized. We have a presence in some of the best restaurants in the world in more than 32 countries, and are a pioneer in the marketing of fresh bluefin tuna. Balfegó is a company that functions under a well-implemented integrated management system with procedures that makes us increasingly efficient. We perpetuously seek to improve the tasks involved in all these procedures, continuously improving existing indicators.  In the future, I see us opening up in other areas apart from the restaurant sector where we have been from 2009 until now. Little by little, I see us adding retail outlets, specialized in the gourmet area.

What role does the R + D + i department play in Balfegó?

It is the department, let’s say, at the cutting edge. If we had not gotten to know our product, its biology and its behaviour in its natural environment in the sea, surely today we would be in the position we are in. We would not have been able to give recommendations on tuna fishery management. We have been pioneers in this regard, thanks to all our investment in marine research.

On top of all of this, we should highlight that we have also been at the forefront of research and innovation once the tuna leaves the water. We have learned, by measuring the PH, to control the lactic acid that a tuna secretes after slaughtering, and we were pioneers when it came to measuring fat content. As a direct result of this research, we feed tuna exclusively on blue fish and in this way, adapting the taste in terms of the fat level, to meet the requirements of customers from different parts of the world. In addition, we are in some way able to guarantee the health and food safety of our products. Without a doubt, pioneers in total traceability from the sea to the consumer’s table.

How important have the fish husbandry facilities been in Balfegó’s transformation?

There are two important considerations. The first one is that bringing a seasonal product to market that can only be fished during a short period of time can cause prices to fall. Having fish husbandry facilities available allows us to regulate supply and demand. If, at the other end of the supply chain, there is no-one who wants that tuna, we will never slaughter it. And the second aspect is improving the quality of the tuna we fish. When tuna come to the Mediterranean to spawn, they have lost a large proportion of fat during the journey. It is important that they recover it, because it is in this fat that the quality of the tuna resides. These are the two mainstays.

 

VALÉRIE MESSIKA
FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR MESSIKA PARIS

Her motto: create new codes for the French Jewelry.
Her promise: to keep the diamond as a unique stone. Deal!

Valérie Messika, daughter of André Messika, a famous diamond dealer since 1972, discovered diamonds at a very young age.
After obtaining her diploma in communication and marketing from CELSA in Paris, she spent five years alongside her father traveling, searching, negotiating the most beautiful diamonds.
In 2005 she launched her own brand. A contemporary and accessible interpretation of the diamond which is freed from forced exercises like the river or the solitaire. Movable stones, bracelets and necklaces with elastic flexibility, the best-selling Move and Skinny lines play brilliantly on technical innovation and modernity without compromising on quality. Her creations are symbols of femininity, emancipation, power.

 


In 2013, Valérie Messika unveiled her first Parisian Flagship store, rue Saint-Honoré, which houses the finest jewelry and Haute Joaillerie jewelry from the House.
All of the collections are represented by many celebrities who are loyal to the brand on the red carpets. From Paris to Hollywood, the sets shine on Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kendall Jenner,Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and more…

In 2015, to celebrate the ten years of the brand, Valerie Messika launched a Haute Joaillerie atelier, to salute the French know-how that was born in the Parisian offices of the house.
From 2017 and 2018, Valérie Messika designed with Gigi Hadid two limited collections. First ‘Move Addiction’ for celebrating the 10th anniversary of the iconic Move. Then ‘My Soul’, more bohemian, which reflects the top model’s personnality.

In 2019, the designer Valérie Messika has chosen to cast three contemporary icons that break the codes of Parisian jewelry : Kate Moss, Joan Smalls and Sylvia Hoeks.
In 2020, Valérie Messika and Kate Moss co-design a High Jewelry collection together.
For 15 years, Valérie Messika has been shaking up the codes of French jewelry, entrepreneur and creative talent, she is now at the head of a company which, thanks to her audacity, has successfully found her marks in an industry so far used to classicism.

 

 

 

 

WE HAVE SPOKEN TO ALICIA GARCÍA CABRERA, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF CASA DECOR, TO TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS NEW EDITION.

CASA DECOR WILL BE BACK IN SPRING 2021

Casa Decor is now preparing its 56th edition, which will be held in Madrid between May and June 2021, when the effects of the pandemic have subsided. Quite a challenge for this popular interior design, design and lifestyle exhibition, the most important in Spain and the only of its kind in Europe.

Casa Decor will return with all the experience gained during the 2020 edition, when it was forced to close its doors on 12 March, only 7 days after opening, leaving the exhibition “frozen” in time. Nevertheless, Casa Decor remained open digitally over these three months, launching an intense campaign on all of its online channels: website, social networks, newsletters, videos of the spaces and, for the first time in its history, a virtual tour. This activity provided a burst of positive energy during the difficult months of confinement, and we never lost hope of being able to reopen the Exhibition, as was ultimately the case. At the beginning of June, Casa Decor opened its doors once again for over a month, after having implemented all necessary health and safety measures: control of the number of visitors, online sale of tickets, visits organised in time slots, marked routes, safety distance and hand sanitiser on all floors. While many similar events and fairs cancelled or postponed their dates, Casa Decor was able to open successfully under new and particularly delicate circumstances. Fortunately, no incidents were reported and the Exhibition took place with complete normality. Armed with this prior experience, Casa Decor does not fear the future and is firmly committed to opening its 2021 edition under the same safe conditions.

We have spoken to Alicia García Cabrera, Director General of Casa Decor, to tell us more about this new edition.

What are the challenges faced by Casa Decor 2021?

Our biggest challenge is continuity: to continue with the safety measures that we implemented last year with great success; to provide the same number of exhibitors with the opportunity, including both participants and brands; to find a similar or better venue than the last one; to exceed our media coverage figures… And, no matter what, this will all be done with a positive vision, as everything will be more exclusive and focused, maintaining the synergies created by Casa Decor each year. In this pandemic situation that we are currently experiencing, our challenge is continuity and maintaining the standards of quality that characterise the Exhibition.

Why is it currently more important than ever to continue to implement sensory marketing campaigns of this type?

During confinement, companies were forced to place greater importance on the digital field and reinvent their communication and marketing strategy. They had to find a window to the world where they could showcase their products, as many fairs and exhibitions were postponed or cancelled. While the digital world served as a communication channel for many sectors, there is simply no substitute for in-person events. However, at the moment very few places offer the safety, strength and prestige provided by Casa Decor. This was clear after the reopening in June, because quality is much more important to us than quantity, along with creating safe spaces where all these requirements are met. Casa Decor is a unique event due to its exclusive formula, which reaches visitors directly and allows them to interact in a very sensory fashion. Casa Decor’s experience, dating back to 1992, vouches for this: our formula is unique, reaching visitors in a very distinctive way. Our visitors are also unique and exclusive, with aspirational and inspirational profiles. The media coverage attained through Casa Decor is also hard to beat through other conventional platforms or channels.

How does Casa Decor deal with the digitalisation of an in-person event?

Even though it is an in-person event, Casa Decor has been working in the digital field for quite some time, as it complements the Exhibition and helps us to go beyond it. In fact, participation at Casa Decor includes a yearly campaign, from the time of hiring a space to the start of the following edition, and this visibility during months without any events is achieved through our digital media. We have adapted to the new times, our social networks are very powerful and we invest a great deal in the website and digital content. That is why we have grown so much digitally. The in-person model is a vital part of Casa Decor, a strength that we will never lose, but it also goes hand in hand with the digital side, which serves as a loudspeaker beyond the Exhibition. We have also digitalised the processes affecting both our participants and our visitors: digital tickets, draws, information through QR, etc. Digitalisation is not only important to lend visibility to projects and products, but also to interact with the world, allowing us to go beyond the Spanish market.

Last year you launched the sustainability campaign #CasaDecorSostenible. Will that be maintained in the 2021 edition?

Yes, of course, it is a permanent campaign for the next edition and for future editions. In reality, what we did last year was to attract attention, because we have been placing emphasis on this issue for quite some time now, but we wanted to give it form and visibility, and provide the public with information on materials and projects that are sustainable in any of their stages of production: manufacturing, assembly, disassembly, etc. There is no turning back now, we must embrace sustainability in all aspects of our life and, indeed, also in interior design. At Casa Decor, not only have we done this in terms of the exhibition, but also internally, in all our procedures and processes, eliminating paper and plastic and  using eco-friendly materials for our paperwork and everything we do as a company.

Space designed by Pía Paisajismo at Casa Decor 2020.

Photo: Nacho Uribesalazar

What do you think about the surprising impetus of the housing sector after confinement? Do you think it’s just a passing fad or something that has changed within society regarding the way that we live in our homes?

No, it’s certainly not a fad. Interior design is necessary, and the importance of our homes is clearer now than ever. During confinement, we identified all the flaws in our homes, realising that we need certain things that we hadn’t even thought about before: better lighting in rooms, a work area, a green corner inside the home, better interior air conditioning, better distributed spaces… And that is precisely what interior designers do, making them essential to the improvement of our homes, to ensure that they are not only healthy, but also beautiful and comfortable. At Casa Decor, professionals and the general public alike can discover the new materials and technological developments within the sector, to achieve homes that are more suited to our needs.

What can Casa Decor offer the luxury sector compared to other similar platforms or fairs in the sector?

Casa Decor is, in its own right, a luxury, a true gem, where products are showcased within real spaces, designed especially to draw attention to the brand, whether it is a tap, a sofa, a perfume or an exclusive liquor. Great care and attention is paid to how products are showcased within the luxury sector, and how the public interacts with them. The high-quality projects presented at Casa Decor provide this exclusive setting to showcase products naturally and organically, taking into account the integration of the products displayed. It is nothing like a showroom or a fair. Casa Decor revolves around an experiential, different and unique concept to draw attention and provide visibility to the materials and pieces on display. It is a platform that has been created specifically for the high-end sector, a platform within a setting of luxury, design, art and innovation.


Casa Decor is always held in different buildings, all spectacular. Is that the secret to Casa Decor’s success?

It is to a certain extent, yes. The building is the icon of each edition, the very essence of where it all begins. That is why we work tirelessly each year to locate “dormant” properties, which are losing value or deteriorating while they are closed. We really put the building on the city map, opening the architectural heritage to citizens, while revitalising the area and its businesses, thanks to the activity that we generate. The building brings together all the creativity within the sector, a collective and interdisciplinary project involving 200 participants, including companies and professionals, who create over 50 spaces where nothing is placed together randomly, and everything fits together like an incredible creative puzzle.

And finally, can you tell us a little bit about what we might see at Casa Decor 2021?

Casa Decor is a vibrant exhibition, showcasing trends that will then be seen on the street. Based on what we saw at the last edition, we are convinced that we will see a large number of biophilic designs with a lot of green, and that natural and organic materials (wood, cork, brick, sand, ceramic, etc.) will be present in many spaces. We will see elegant and sophisticated interiors, which will be modern and minimalist, yet still homely, with exquisite pieces of art and antique furniture. As has been the case in the past few years, we will also see a greater presence of handcrafted work and elements, thanks to the re-emergence of age-old trades, which are currently the height of luxury, as each piece is unique and exclusive, and very few craftsmen can perform such techniques nowadays. And, of course, all of this within a context of sustainability and environmental awareness, increasingly in line with current interiors.

Space designed by Lorna de Santos. Casa Decor 2020.

 

Brand Finance Global 500 Launch: The Role of Tech Brands in Driving Economic Growth

January 26, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Brand Finance Global 500 Launch: The Role of Tech Brands in Driving Economic Growth

Economic growth and technological innovation are historically perceived as concurrent. As we progress through the 21st century, the world is innovating at an increasingly rapid rate, and whereas previous predictions of technological development would be forecast over a 25 to 50-year period, this timespan has now become much shorter.

Nevertheless, 2020 saw the world experience unprecedented economic upheaval, as the health of populations and national economies took substantial blows. The primary focus of the foreseeable future will be to revive the global economy from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join our webinar alongside a panel of C-suite executives as we discuss how important a role technology brands will play in the economic recovery after a year of turbulence, and how we predict where technological innovations will take brands in the next 5, 10, and 25 years.

Taking place at the time of our usual Davos event, the webinar will launch the Brand Finance Global 500 2021 rreport and present the findings of our annual study into the world’s 500 most valuable and strongest brands across all sectors and countries, as well as the Brand Finance Brand Guardianship Index 2021 ranking of the world’s top 100 CEOs.

To learn about your brand’s performance ahead of the launch, please email enquiries@brandfinance.com. Our Consulting Team is here to help.

Anne-Charlotte Bellanger | Managing Director France, United Kingdom & Iberia

Our History started in 1874 in La Côte-aux-Fées, where Gerorge-Edouard Piaget  devoted himself to crafting High-precision and ultra-thin movements. These movements would later become the Maison´s trademark. During all of these years, Piaget have broken their own records, doing extraordinary watches. Recently, Our Piaget Ultimate Concept watch – the thinnest mechanical watch on the market-  has won the prestigious “Aiguille d’Or” at the 20th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). This prize rewards the best overall watch among all categories (Best in Show). It is a honor for our Maison.

Anne-Charlotte Bellanger | Managing Director France, United Kingdom & Iberia

Anne-Charlotte Bellanger | Managing Director France, United Kingdom & Iberia

Piaget strongly believe in creativity and artistic values. Our Jewellery and watches creations are proof of that. Each collection reflects the Piaget art of vivre and our “Sunny Side of Light” spirit.. a real celebration!:  Possession collection is an invitation to celebrate Luck, happiness, success and love, Limelight Gala is an ode to the extraordinary woman. Piaget Polo invites us to celebrate life´s boldness and Piaget Altiplano to celebrate perfection.

Inside this universe of extraordinary celebration, we can make a special mention to our last High Jewellery collection: Wings of Light.  It is a journey to a fantasy land of magic, mystery, romance and rarity. These creations , dreamed  within the walls of our “Ateliers de l’Extraordinaire”, answer a call of nature and invite us to journey with them  to a glittering world of excellence with a signature style that transcends time.

As you can see, Piaget is celebrating the extraordinary all the time.  

Piaget is a centric client brand. Our aim is to bring clients the best service and an unique experience.  “Always do better than necessary” has been, is and will be our motto.  Either in our boutiques or throughout digital platforms (like our e-commerce or Net- a- Porter website) we offer our clients the tailor-made experience which they are looking for. We convert our clients into our brand ambassadors and part of the Piaget Family. We invite you to be part of our Piaget Society!

Nicolas Baretzki, CEO of Montblanc, understanding the new world of luxury

Hamburg, Germany – Nicolas Baretzki, CEO of Montblanc has achieved strategy and product, order and innovation, adaptation and vision, as well as the congruence of valuing the past and legacy of his home. At the same time, he sees the horizon of innovation and creativity, craftsmanship and is evident at the top of technology.

The man who runs Montblanc through one of the most complicated years for the luxury and travel industry opened the doors of his house to chat with Watches World via videoconference.

Montblanc, collections of exceptional value

With a perfectly ordered collection, strategically inspired and developed through the weighty values and stories of its Minerva Manufacture, all collections take on an exceptional value in their different executions in materials, colors and scales. From a 24-hour watch to a highly complex steel and titanium bracelet, his watches today speak accurately of his great execution. Dressed in unprecedented blue for its range of patina or natural fiber straps, the style that continues to consolidate the House as one of the most widely used watchmakers in the world, with the section on doing what haute horlogerie allows its customers to do. more exclusive movements where we have even had the pleasure of seeing how they make a spiral or carve each of their pieces by hand.

Today in its watchmaking part Minerva and Le Locle are fully integrated. Its two manufactures speak the same watchmaking language, the strategy has paid off. In his other specialties we discovered his union in fountain pens with one of the great stories of our country with the Moctezuma pen, carried out through many years of research, developing the idea in conjunction with historians of the country and government agencies, in order to deliver a unique item. In the avant-garde scene, followed by its Summit connected watch, it now features one of the best hearing aids on the market. Both in finishes and materials as well as in sound, without a doubt, a great addition to that client for whom luxury is not only wearing and showing, but living and enjoying moments and experiences.

Facing new challenges

Thank you for receiving the video call at home, how do you spend this quarantine time?

NB: You know, tough times. But tough times also offer a good opportunity. Until recently, almost all countries were closed (at the time of the interview, Europe was beginning a gradual opening of the 2020 quarantine).

The challenge is taking care of your staff and maintaining communication with key customers. We work a lot through live broadcasts and videoconferences. Now, we are seeing Europe reopen, slowly but surely. Our hope is that the Americas, as a whole, will follow the same path. What happens in Mexico? Until when will the containment measures be maintained?

Facing new challenges

Thank you for receiving the video call at home, how do you spend this quarantine time?

NB: You know, tough times. But tough times also offer a good opportunity. Until recently, almost all countries were closed (at the time of the interview, Europe was beginning a gradual opening of the 2020 quarantine).

The challenge is taking care of your staff and maintaining communication with key customers. We work a lot through live broadcasts and videoconferences. Now, we are seeing Europe reopen, slowly but surely. Our hope is that the Americas, as a whole, will follow the same path. What happens in Mexico? Until when will the containment measures be maintained?

How did Montblanc do in 2019?

NB: For Montblanc, 2019 was a very interesting year. We have been in a transition from distribution to being a virtual brand, connecting with customers. We have worked on many projects that are actually just starting now. A new approach to marketing automation, lots of product innovations, it was very intense. Until January of this year, it had been a very good period.

WW: After 2020, this quarantine, have you reconsidered any of the goals for this year and 2021?

NB: Without a doubt. One of the things we have learned is that we have to be very agile. When you think about quarantine, in a matter of 24 hours you have to completely modify the way you work, implement the work via home office. In a matter of days, you realize that you can be very efficient. There are some projects that we decided to postpone, because at the moment it does not make sense to carry out everything we had planned. If the market opens in July, then we will only have 9 months of this year.

I don’t want to force 12-month projects into a 9-month period. There will be no big events. We have the digital platform. We had a great event with the VIPs, which we organized through the live broadcasts. Between some good stories and some bottles of wine, we present some beautiful pieces, some high-end watches. We are also creating this community, we keep it alive, which I consider crucial. What gives meaning to everything is this feeling of family that we have at Montblanc.

In any case, the big launch still stands. The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere with a blue dial is a completely new collection. We have Moctezuma’s presentation, which perhaps makes even more sense to you in Mexico.

Geosphere Titanium

Nicolas Baretzki thinks ahead

Returning to quarantine, I think we work more while at home. We start earlier in the morning, we finish later. We don’t have breaks. It offers you the opportunity and the time to think about the future. Now we have to think about what should be adjusted, how can we restart, what the world will be like in 2021, 2022. It is a very exciting time.

WW: What would the changes in the luxury industry look like after what is happening in the world?

NB: I can’t say that after a couple of weeks I already know everything. But certain elements are emerging. First, I believe that the luxury industry is going to benefit from this situation. The maisons that are characterized by their craftsmanship, their heritage, that have this content and values, are going to benefit a lot. I think the world will have more sensitivity towards these types of maisons. They are going to focus more on these characteristics, instead of pure fashion. I think style is going to be very important, prevailing over pure fashion.

Certain habits will continue. There are people who say that we will continue with the home office forever, permanently. Also, we shop in completely different ways these days. I think this will continue to a certain degree. I believe that the digital experience and e-commerce will continue to flourish.

I see that people travel less, but continue to travel in particular from home to office and back. A new understanding of this world will generate new needs. I believe that the home office certainly has a place in the new luxury industry.

There are many things we can anticipate. Relationships, community are extremely important. And certain aspects are going to accelerate, such as online commerce, such as sustainability. But these aspects had already been present before. They are only going to be more marked in the near future.

The Minerva and Le Locle integration

WW: Let’s talk about the clocks. Are you satisfied with the integration between Minerva and Le Locle? We have seen this year’s collection, its logic is established.

NB: My answer has been the same for the last three years. More than satisfied, I think it was something crucial. Montblanc’s strategy has always been the same. If you go into a segment, you do it from a vertical, integrated perspective. We are not opportunists. The watchmaking side and the legitimacy of Montblanc definitely have their roots in Minerva. When we say “Minerva is Montblanc and Montblanc is Minerva”, they are not just words, it is a reality.

Second, each collection comes from Minerva, from her history. Minerva has had her presence for over 160 years, she lived through different eras, some more classic, more military, more vintage, more sophisticated. But without a doubt, she provides a lot of inspiration and we used her to create the story of each line.

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Panerai Luminor Marina, the silver knight of the sea

For me personally, Minerva is a great opportunity to play with the legacy, with the design, with specific dials, the style of the watches. Finally, Minerva is the culmination, it is an exceptional expression of a category of luxury watch collections.

To return to your question, Le Locle and Minerva are a team today. If you remember, before it used to be two different entities, two different collections. Today, it is the only approach. We have the 1858 collection, and then you have this beautiful Chrono Monopusher, with the Minerva movement, this blue dial, etc. I truly believe that it is one of the most beautiful pieces that we have in our collections. Additionally, we have these exceptional pieces that are the result of internal development, such as the Geosphere, which is one of the most recognized. A central identity, part of this aggressive positioning, with few complications, which are more like pieces of Le Locle. One entry price segment from each collection, so I would imagine that many customers would enter Montblanc through this segment.The Minerva and Le Locle integration

WW: Let’s talk about the clocks. Are you satisfied with the integration between Minerva and Le Locle? We have seen this year’s collection, its logic is established.

NB: My answer has been the same for the last three years. More than satisfied, I think it was something crucial. Montblanc’s strategy has always been the same. If you go into a segment, you do it from a vertical, integrated perspective. We are not opportunists. The watchmaking side and the legitimacy of Montblanc definitely have their roots in Minerva. When we say “Minerva is Montblanc and Montblanc is Minerva”, they are not just words, it is a reality.

Second, each collection comes from Minerva, from her history. Minerva has had her presence for over 160 years, she lived through different eras, some more classic, more military, more vintage, more sophisticated. But it certainly provides a lot of inspiration and we used it to create the story for each line.

Panerai Luminor Marina, the silver knight of the sea

For me personally, Minerva is a great opportunity to play with the legacy, with the design, with specific dials, the style of the watches. Finally, Minerva is the culmination, it is an exceptional expression of a category of luxury watch collections.

To return to your question, Le Locle and Minerva are a team today. If you remember, before it used to be two different entities, two different collections. Today, it is the only approach. We have the 1858 collection, and then you have this beautiful Chrono Monopusher, with the Minerva movement, this blue dial, etc. I truly believe that it is one of the most beautiful pieces that we have in our collections. Additionally, we have these exceptional pieces that are the result of internal development, such as the Geosphere, which is one of the most recognized. A central identity, part of this aggressive positioning, with few complications, which are more like pieces of Le Locle. An entry price segment from each collection, so I would imagine that many customers would enter Montblanc through this segment.

1858 Monopusher Chronograph

So a unique identity is created that is the expression of Montblanc. Hope you never got a different answer to your question.

WW: This year is when Minerva is most integrated into the collection. Speaking of this year’s collection: we have seen blue, the forest, the ice blue mountains. Is there a next color or logic in the 1858 product line?

NB: Innovation is a big part of Montblanc. In everything we do, not just watches. Blue is obvious, it is going to stay as a permanent collection. The green collection was the limited edition, it was not a permanent collection. The idea was to work with different statements. First, we work on different materials. For example, it was very difficult to develop this watch band, something extremely difficult and important. This bracelet is amazing. When you see this piece in metal color, with satin titanium tint, it creates a completely different watch when you wear it. In my opinion, it was as important as integrating this blue color.

This year, our purpose is to create this sense of alignment. We are doing it because we believe that 1858, without a doubt, is going to become an iconic line.

WW: Is anything being worked on 1858 under the sea?

NB: I think you have to stay in your own territory. Every time you try to be opportunistic, you lose your customers. Montblanc is known for its innovation, its engineering, but we are also known for this segment that is more dedicated to mountaineering, exploration, not the element of water at all. If I can think of a diver’s watch tomorrow, that’s good, we can do it. But what is the logic with the brand? I believe we must stay where we are legitimate, where we are loyal to the brand. The classic, the sophisticated, the vintage, yes. Life abroad, Minerva’s military expression, no doubt. Everything that is part of measuring time, Chronograph, which comes from Minerva, of course. Every story begins with Minerva, so we have enough ideas in these 160 years that we can use, without trying to enter a territory that is not our scope.

Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chrono

WW: Timewalker. The sponsorship with the Goodwood.

NB: We do not leave aside the Goodwood thing. We hope the Duke of Richmond will organize it. Obviously it will not happen in July, it is impossible. I think it was a great platform for Timewalker, in this racing car context, in the Minerva story. Last year Timewalker was a huge success. Without a doubt, it is a segment that belongs to Montblanc.

Montblanc’s strategy

At the same time, my key strategy is to reduce the number of collections, to concentrate them more. We have many products, we are very creative, but it is good to be able to identify what is good for the brand, how to use it. At the same time, it is very important to be able to focus on very specific collections, which your clients understand and can support. In a way, we are implementing it in Star Legacy. But at least we can be much clearer. We have enough collections, products that work. It also makes it easier for our customers.

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Star Legacy.

WW: I would like to talk about two very important products, the Moctezuma pen and Montblanc creating hearing aids …

NB: We have seen many reviews, especially in the United States, in specialized magazines. I was very impressed when people said that they are one of the best hearing aids, that the sound is incredible, the technology is state of the art. As always in Montblanc, the latest technology is used, with this touch of Montblanc, with the approach of leather. You know, when we talk about the home office, I actually hope that a lot of people are going to use these headphones at home. It is actually an amazing product. I think it was beyond a commercial success.

From another perspective, it is very refreshing to have this new product that offers more legitimacy to our new high-tech segment, when we enter a new segment and immediately customers tell us how amazing the piece we have created is. It is not just a gadget, it is a luxury product, it is a product of internal creation and of a specific internal approach.

And in writing instruments …

Montblanc Moctezuma.

Moctezuma is a writing instrument from a very important collection “Patron of the Arts”. It is a very interesting project that we had started at least three years before launch. A very interesting design concept and methodology.

At the very beginning, the design team spends two weeks studying everything about the concept, seeking to understand which elements are important, and how we can translate the main points of the theme into an artistic design.

It is a long process, and highly technical, because you enter new developments, new materials, new techniques, which require very intensive work. Then comes the cultural part, with the opportunities to discover new things. If we do Moctezuma, then we return to Mexican culture, strong cultural and design themes.

Montblanc Patron of Art Moctezuma Limited Edition 8If we see this piece it is very impressive, I think it is more than a tribute to a fascinating culture of Latin America. I think it also has to do with how Moctezuma’s cultural achievements are brought to life. I must admit, it has been a challenge. The piece is very heavy.

The production process is very complex, but the way it was made is fantastic. It also gave us the opportunity to interact with the Mexican government, to make sure that we were respecting the culture, and that we were doing it correctly. This way we better connect with the Mexican community of collectors. I am very proud of this project.

WW: Where are you physically, now in quarantine?

NB: In Hamburg, Germany, near our headquarters, in fact, I go there 2-3 times a week to be in contact with some people who are still in the offices. Anyway, for now, you can’t travel in Germany. Otherwise, you would be quarantined when you return. So I’ve been here for the last two months.

WW: Thank you very much, for opening time in your agenda for all the printed and digital audience of Watches World, we hope to see you soon in Mexico.

NB: I hope the next time we meet will be in mid-September-October.

Special thanks: To Nicolas Baretzki from his home, together with his press team for organizing a memorable videoconference talk. A scene that marks an era and a strong step in the year 2020 in the world.

A scene that, although divided into pictures, was united in ideas and concepts, a talk that allowed the afternoon light to hit his face in Germany, like the morning light entering through the window in Mexico City, as symbols that there will always be how to meet, live, share and look forward. Thanks to him and Montblanc.

SOURCE :

eBay Inc. Names Jamie Iannone Chief Executive Officer

Highly Accomplished Leader with Proven Track Record of Driving Superior Performance and User Experiences at Consumer-Facing Technology Companies

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Jamie Iannone as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 27, 2020.  He has also been elected to the Company’s Board of Directors. Most recently Mr. Iannone was Chief Operating Officer of Walmart eCommerce.

Mr. Iannone has over 20 years of experience leading digital pure-play and omnichannel platforms for some of the world’s premier consumer-facing companies. Before being promoted to COO of Walmart eCommerce, he served as CEO of SamsClub.com, the eCommerce unit for the $57 billion Sam’s Club. In this role, he was responsible for the unit’s digital transformation, including developing and executing initiatives in membership, marketing, technology, product and operations. Mr. Iannone previously worked at eBay as a Vice President and other leadership roles from 2001 to 2009.

“The Board believes Jamie is the ideal CEO to lead eBay’s next chapter of growth and success,” said Thomas Tierney, Chairman of eBay Inc.’s Board. “We have all been impressed by his strong track record of innovation, execution, operational excellence, and developing teams that drive results. Jamie has consistently delivered high growth during rapid periods of industry disruption, consumer change and technological advancement. He is a world-class leader, and we are excited to welcome him back to eBay.”

“I am honored to rejoin eBay as its next Chief Executive Officer,” said Mr. Iannone. “In my previous experience with the Company, I developed a deep appreciation for what makes eBay so special. eBay’s success has always been rooted in its robust C2C platform. I believe the Company has tremendous opportunities to capitalize on this foundation, innovate for the future and grow its ecosystem. I look forward to working with our global teams to enhance buyer experiences and provide more capabilities that will help small businesses sustain and grow. I will focus on continuing to evolve the Company’s strategy while delivering on eBay’s commitment to maximize long-term shareholder value.”

Mr. Tierney added, “We are deeply appreciative to Scott Schenkel for his leadership, not only over the past six months as interim CEO, but also during his 13-year tenure at eBay. In addition to leading bold actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Scott as interim CEO, eBay has re-prioritized its product roadmap, scaled growth initiatives, significantly improved margins and positioned the Company for enhanced shareholder returns. On behalf of the Board and the entire eBay family, we extend our sincerest gratitude to Scott for a job exceptionally well done.”

Mr. Schenkel will continue as interim CEO until Mr. Iannone joins the Company on April 27, 2020 and will thereafter work with Mr. Iannone to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. Andy Cring will continue to serve as interim CFO.

Mr. Iannone’s appointment marks the end of a comprehensive search process led by a dedicated committee of eBay’s Board of Directors and supported by outside executive search and leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart. The Search Committee, comprised of Fred Anderson, Katie Mitic, Matt Murphy, Paul Pressler and Tom Tierney, led an extensive evaluation of external and internal candidates for the role. The full eBay Board unanimously supported Mr. Iannone’s selection as CEO.

About Jamie Iannone

Mr. Iannone most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Walmart eCommerce. His team focused on operational oversight of eCommerce as Walmart moves to a truly omnichannel organization. He also had responsibility for Store No. 8, Walmart’s incubation hub.

Mr. Iannone joined Sam’s Club in 2014 and was CEO of SamsClub.com and Executive Vice President of membership and technology. In that role, Mr. Iannone grew both the SamsClub.com business and Sam’s Club’s membership base, which ended FY20 with record-high eCommerce growth and Plus renewal counts. His teams also released industry-leading technologies including Scan & Go, Ask Sam’s, Sam’s Club Now and Club Pickup.

Before joining Walmart Inc., Mr. Iannone was Executive Vice President of Digital Products at Barnes & Noble, Inc., where he was responsible for all NOOK devices, software, accessories, retail integration and experiences, books and digital content, as well as third-party partnerships. He also spent nearly eight years at eBay as a Vice President and in other roles leading several areas of the Company, including its global search, buyer experience and tailored shopping experience divisions. Before that, Mr. Iannone worked at Epinions.com and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Mr. Iannone previously served on the Board of Directors of The Children’s Place. He earned a Bachelor of Science in operations research, engineering and management systems from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

About eBay

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity for all. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the company’s current expectations, forecasts and assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the future performance of eBay Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, including full year guidance for 2019, leadership changes and the company’s operating and strategic reviews. Actual results could differ materially from those predicted or implied, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Other factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: changes in political, business and economic conditions, any regional or general economic downturn or crisis and any conditions that affect ecommerce growth or cross-border trade; the company’s ability to realize expected growth opportunities in payments intermediation and advertising; the outcome of the operating and strategic portfolio reviews; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; the company’s need to successfully react to the increasing importance of mobile commerce and the increasing social aspect of commerce; an increasingly competitive environment for its business; changes to the company’s capital allocation, including the timing, declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends or levels of the company’s share repurchases, or management of operating cash; the company’s ability to manage its indebtedness, including managing exposure to interest rates and maintaining its credit ratings; the company’s need to manage an increasingly large enterprise with a broad range of businesses of varying degrees of maturity and in many different geographies; the company’s need and ability to manage regulatory, tax, data security and litigation risks; whether the operational, marketing and strategic benefits of the separation of the eBay and PayPal businesses can be achieved; the company’s ability to timely upgrade and develop its technology systems, infrastructure and customer service capabilities at reasonable cost while maintaining site stability and performance and adding new products and features; and the company’s ability to integrate, manage and grow businesses that have been acquired or may be acquired in the future.

The forward-looking statements in this press release do not include the potential impact of any acquisitions or divestitures that may be announced and/or completed after the date hereof.

More information about factors that could affect the company’s results is included under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by visiting the company’s Investor Relations website at https://investors.ebayinc.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this press release, which are based on information available to the company on the date hereof. The company assumes no obligation to update such statements.

Interview – Brand Finance Spokesperson Teresa de Lemus,

Managing Director Brand Finance Spain

I started my professional career in Brussels in advertising self-regulatory entities and the media defending the interests of the media, advertisers and regulators against the EU. My entire professional career since then has been aimed at representing business interests in favor of their highest and best benefit. After 15 years I joined Brand Finance due to the technical rigor and the philosophy of humility and customer orientation, an activity that I combine with my three babies and that is only possible thanks to the support and family involvement of my husband.

1. What changes have you noticed during the years at the helm of Brand Finance Spain?
Spain is a very open market, not only to technical knowledge that recognizes and values ​​it, but also to the possibility of doing things differently. I have been particularly interested in these years how marketing and finance departments are receptive to new processes and ways of studying and analyzing data or information as well as using new tools to improve their results if necessary.

2. In Brand Finance you work with top-level companies, Ibex 35 companies and other large Spanish companies. What level of importance do you see that they give to the brand in these companies? Are they convinced of the strategic value of the brand in the business?
Rather, I would almost dare to say it the other way around. They are companies that have reached those levels because they understand the power of the brand and know how to manage it. The brand is the summary of your value proposition, your reputation, your trust. They have it more than clear.

3. What about all those large family businesses that are unknown to the general public but with astronomical turnover figures?
At Brand Finance, it is the type of client that we enjoy the most, since they are the ones that obtain the most attractive results and the shortest term from our advice. They are usually companies with a lot of desire to do things, but bureaucracies and intra-stories make it difficult to carry out many very interesting projects.

4. What do you think will be the keys to branding and marketing in the coming years?
The creativity. Doing things differently will always be the key but there is a false belief in thinking that this is for “daring” or those who “have a nose”. Innovating and being creative does not have to be a leap into the void, but with the appropriate analysis and data, it is necessary to know how to base it on the correct information and properly guide it towards the result with better turnover for the business in the short and long term

5. What advice would you give to the brand managers of Spanish companies?
None. They are the ones who know the business. I can only offer you tools to facilitate your work with the internal and external clients, but beyond that I would not dare.

6. We have witnessed how, during the crisis, companies that have opted for branding and communication have better resisted the impact. Do you think it is because they already had a strong brand or other actions they have launched? What advantages does having a strong brand bring to a company?
The strong brand has to not only come but stay. We all know examples of brands that have known how to reinvent themselves and take advantage of their brand to diversify and others that did not see it coming. For that you have to watch 3 fronts a lot: What you have, with whom you compete and who buys you.

7. If we look at Spain, there are few brands that we can consider truly global. What do you think it is due to and what is the recipe to increase the internationalization of our brands? What brands do you see with the greatest potential to internationalize?
Spanish brands, for ease of language, have always tended to go to Latin America, which does not have to be the most appropriate. In both expansion and diversification decisions, many variables must be taken into account, as well as short and long returns. Try to risk as little as possible.

8. What are the great challenges that a brand and its managers currently face?
At Brand Finance we work every day to “unite the Marketing and Finance departments”, that is our motto and the substance of everything we do. Providing the tools to the brands so that these two areas speak the same language is essential to grow the brand and the business. At this time, more than ever if possible, it is essential that these areas have accurate information to properly establish strategies in a context of uncertainty.

9. In the current context where there are so many sectors affected, which do you think will be the Spanish brands that will benefit the most and why? Do you have any forecast for 2021?
In general, in all contexts, the more information available to decide, the better. At Brand Finance we are continuously studying the brand and the parameters that comprise it. We have recently obtained a finding of how two variables (familiarity and consideration) impact market share. These results, published in our BrandBeta report, are one more example of how information can give you light. Not only know what market share you can aspire to obtain but also to anticipate and correct it in time if you are not on track.

10. Before finishing, would you like something else?
Monitoring and measurement tools like ours where we value and evaluate the brand not only help to make decisions but also facilitate the argumentation and defense of a job well done, of the decisions taken and above all, of knowing what to correct as and when if something it is not working as it should.

ISADORE SHARP - Founder and Chairman - Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

ISADORE SHARP – Founder and Chairman – Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

“The reason for our success is no secret. It comes down to one single principle that transcends time and geography, religion and culture. It’s the Golden Rule – the simple idea that if you treat people well, the way you would like to be treated, they will do the same.”

“There was no vision, there was no grand dream,” says Issy, reflecting on the more than 50 years since the first Four Seasons – a modest motor hotel – opened in downtown Toronto. “But there has always been a consistent thread and it propels us forward today, as we continue to grow globally, and that’s service.”

It may seem obvious that in the hotel business, service is a primary objective, but it is how that service is delivered that sets Four Seasons apart. “One way to characterise Four Seasons service would be to call it an exchange of mutual respect performed with an attitude of kindness.”

Defining and enforcing the company culture was one of four key strategic decisions made in the formative years of Four Seasons history. “I sat down with our communications experts and wrote down the fundamentals of our culture, which is based on the Golden Rule – to treat others as you wish to be treated,” says Issy. “A lot of companies talk about having a culture, but we knew we had to walk the talk if we expected it to thrive in our hotels.”

The other key decisions include a focus on managing only medium-sized hotels of exceptional quality; to manage, rather than own, those hotels; and to make service the brand’s distinguishing edge.

More recently, in 2007, another milestone decision was made that will protect the integrity of the brand well into the future. Sharp, along with a group of like-minded investors, took the company private.

“Four Seasons today is a brand that people equate with exceptional experiences and the lifelong memories that come with them,” says Issy. “The business decisions we’ve made over the past five decades ensure that Four Seasons will continue to hold this esteemed position for decades to come.”

Career Highlights

  • Authored a book in 2009 detailing the history and philosophy of the company entitled Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy
  • Founding of Four Seasons Hotels: built and opened the first Four Seasons, a 125-room motor hotel, in Toronto, Canada, in 1961, after founding the company the previous year
  • Previously: worked with his father, Max Sharp, in the construction business
  • Education: graduated in architecture from Ryerson Institute of Technology, 1952

Directorships

  • Honorary Director of Scotiabank
  • Director of Clairvest Group Inc.

Community Involvement

  • Director of the National Terry Fox Run; initiated the corporate sponsorship program supporting the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope and is Founder of the annual Terry Fox Run program
  • Director of Canadian Unity Council
  • Governor of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews
  • Honorary Officer of the Board of Directors, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • First recipient of the Ruth Hartman Frankel Humanitarian Award for work on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society, 1983

Awards and Honours

  • Cornell Icon of the Industry Award, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, 2016
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, The Canadian Club of Toronto, 2016
  • Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2013
  • Induction into The British Travel Industry Hall of Fame, 2013
  • Platinum Award, Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI), 2013
  • International Horatio Alger Award, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, 2013
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM), 2011
  • US Travel Hall of Leaders, US Travel Association, 2010
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University, 2009
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, International Hotel Investment Fund, 2009
  • Companion to the Order of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, 2008 (first inducted in 1998)
  • Marketing Hall of Legends Visionary Award, 2008
  • Ivey Business Leader Award by the Ivey Alumni Association/Toronto, 2006
  • Outstanding Philanthropist Award, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter, 2005
  • Honorary Associate Award, The Conference Board of Canada, 2005
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, American Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), 2005
  • Canadian Hotel Industry Icon Award at the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference, 2005
  • Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program’s Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003
  • Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University, 2003 (Ryerson University Fellowship, 1983)
  • International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award by I.H. Asper School of Business of the University of Manitoba, 1999
  • Distinguished Service Award in International Rehabilitation, from New York-based World Rehabilitation Fund, 1999
  • Ryerson Alumni Award of Distinction, which recognises outstanding contributions of graduates of Ryerson Polytechnical University to business and community life, 1998
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Toronto, 1994
  • Officer of the Order of Canada, 1993
  • CEO of the Year, Financial Post Magazine, 1992
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Guelph, 1992

Personal Insights

  • Family: Issy and his wife, Rosalie Wise Sharp, live in Toronto; they have three sons: Jordan, Gregory and Anthony; the Sharps lost a fourth son, Christopher, to cancer in 1978
  • Where he got the now-famous name: The name was chosen at the suggestion of a relative, as Sharp’s first choice, “The Thunderbird Inn,” was already taken. The name “Thunderbird” is now proudly used at Four Seasons Home Office in Toronto as the name of the employee cafeteria.