Maureen Chiquet, global CEO at Chanel, will leave the company in a few days because of different opinions over strategic direction as per WWD article http://wwd.com/retail-news/designer-luxury/maureen-chiquet-exit-ceo-chanel-10332250/ . Alain Wertheimer, Chanel Chairman and member of the family that owns the company, will (probably temporarily) take over.
Chiquet was appointed Chanel CEO in 2007 and she firmly but elegantly drove the success and the growth of the privately-owned brand.
According to the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/business/international/maureen-chiquet-is-leaving-chanel.html?_r=0) Chanel “reported a 38% rise in annual profit in 2015″, a stellar result in an industry where competitors desperately try to reach a few points of postitive growth. Chanel is one of the few luxury brands that have not been much affected by the worldwide financial slowdown.
The business is performing well, the brand awareness has never been higher, the shows are magnificent and Karl Lagerfeld in perfect shape.
What has happened?
Is it the David Blatt syndrome? And, who is David Blatt?
David Blatt is a professional basketball coach, one of the most successful american coaches in the European league, he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2015 Final NBA in his first season with them. Although the team held the best record in their conference, Blatt was fired because a “lack of fit with our personnel and our vision” according to the team general manager. Apparently the Cavalier’s star player LeBron James could have had a role in this decision.
SBnation.com wrote “if winning percentage is the only measure of a coach’s performance, David Blatt’s firing was tremendously unfair”. http://www.sbnation.com/2016/1/22/10816628/david-blatt-fired-record-cavaliers
What a coach should do more than getting the best result for his team? What a CEO should do more than getting the best financial and awareness and reputation results ever?
Is Maureen Chiquet departure tremendously unfair? Was the different point of view on Karl Lagerfeld successor that determined this abrupt decision? We cannot see any other relevant major difference in the strategic direction for the brand.
Hopefully Chiquet successor will be at the height of this amazing woman, who mentors young designers, discreet and elegant, smart and focused.
And even more hopefully Chiquet will find, like David Blatt, another team, another brand to work for. The fashion and luxury world desperately needs CEOs like her.