The Latest Appointments, Sofitel, Halston & Louis Vuitton

It was merely one month ago that we noted a slowdown in the senior management game of musical chairs, taking place in the luxury industry in 2011. Little did we know that luxury hotels would be the next sector to fuel the wave. Sofitel’s long-time chief operations officer, Robert Gaymer-Jones, has been moved to the top spot, taking position this month as chief executive officer for the global group. Following its purchase by Chinese billionaire Cheng Yu-Tung, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has appointed Radha Arora as president, whilst Hyatt hotels appointed Jeff Semenchuk as its first chief innovation officer.

The former CEO of Gucci, Robert Polet, has been nominated to the board of Italian eyewear maker Safilo, whilst former Chloé head, Ralph Toledano, has been appointed chairman of the board at American ready-to-wear brand St John. Finally, Halston have managed to lure Ben Malka away from his president post at BCBG Max Azria, to take up the CEO and chairman spot at Halston, following the departure of Sarah Jessica Parker, Tamara Mellon and Harvey Weinstein.

Robert Gaymer-Jones, CEO, Sofitel Worldwide
After serving Sofitel Worldwide as chief operating officer since 2007, Robert Gaymer-Jones has been appointed CEO. In his past three years as COO, Mr Gaymer-Jones has undergone a complete restyling of the brand and the launch of the two ‘labels’ – Sofitel Legend and Sofitel So.

John Ermatinger, CEO Asia, Tommy Hilfiger
In a newly created role, John Ermatinger, has been named chief executive officer of The Tommy Hilfiger Group, Asia, identified as a key area of future growth for the brand. Prior to his appointment, Mr Ermatinger served as president of Gap Asia Pacific and president of Gap Japan.

Robert Polet, Chairman, Safilo
Italian eyewear maker Safilo Group SpA has nominated former Gucci CEO, Robert Polet, as chairman of the board. The worlds second largest eyewear maker is seeking to recover from a restructuring that the company undertook last year to reduce its excessive debt.

Jeff Semenchuk, Chief Innovation Officer, Hyatt
Hyatt Hotels Corporation has appointed Jeff Semenchuk as its first chief innovation officer. Based at Hyatt headquarters in Chicago, Mr Semenchuk will lead the company’s enterprise-wide, cross-functional efforts to establish a process of innovation.

Laurence Franklin, CEO, Frette
Leading provider of luxury linens, Frette, has appointed Laurence Franklin as its new CEO. Mr Franklin has held a variety of presidential positions at Coach Leatherware, Elizabeth Arden and Tumi.

Radha Arora, President, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
Following acquisition by Chinese billionaire Cheng Yu-Tung’s New World Development Co, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts have named Radha Arora as president, replacing current president and CEO John M. Scott III. Mr Arora joins Rosewood from Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Ben Malka, CEO & Chairman, Halston
After serving ten years as president of BCBG Max Azria Group, Ben Malka has left to join Halston as chairman and CEO. Mr Malka has also become a substantial stakeholder in Halston and his arrival marks new funding for the brand in excess of $20 million.

Taylor Tomasi Hill, Creative Consultant, Sigerson Morrison
Following the exit of founders Sigerson and Morrison, Marie Claire style and accessories director, Taylor Tomasi Hill, has been appointed as the eponymous brands new creative consultant for both the main and Belle product lines.

Edward Dolman, MD, Qatar Museums
Following twenty-seven years at Christie’s, president Edward Dolman has resigned his post to become managing director of the Qatar Museums Authority. Mr Dolman will now supervise a network of museums in Doha.

Ralph Toledano, Chairman, St John
After eleven years at Chloé, overseeing the appointment and development of Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo, Ralph Toledano has been appointed to chairman of the board at American ready to wear brand, St John.

Ruth Newton Jones, Director of Strategy & Business Development, Designer Parfums
Ruth Newton Jones has joined Designer Parfums as director of strategy and business development, after holding senior positions within L’Oréal’s Luxury Products Division, where she was responsible for marketing and sales, and was managing director of Helena Rubinstein.

Patrick Lee, Chairman & CEO, Michael Kors Asia
Former CEO of Christian Dior Couture and Parfums, Patrick Lee has been appointed president of Michael Kors China, charged with leading development in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

Apar Kothari, Vice President, Rue La La
Founder and CEO of flash sale site aggregator MyNines Inc, Apar Kothari has been named vice president, head of business development and strategic partnerships at private sale shopping destination site Rue La La.

Tom Singer, CFO, Intercontinental Hotels
Appointed to the board and executive committee as chief financial officer, Tom Singer joins Intercontinental Hotel Group from global healthcare group BUPA where he has been Group Finance Director since 2008. Mr Singer takes over the CFO role from Richard Solomons, who recently became CEO.

Nancy Murray, SVP Communications, Louis Vuitton USA
Nancy Murray has joined Louis Vuitton North America, as senior vice president, communications. Ms Murray formerly held positions at Harry Winston and Polo Ralph Lauren, and was most recently SVP, communications, of PepsiCo Americas’ food division.

Sophie Doran

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