Strategic shifts within the LVMH group

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto22 janvier 2024

LVMH announced the arrival of Michael Burke as the new CEO of its Fashion Group division on Thursday January 18. More recently, Bernard Arnault has also reportedly decided to appoint his two sons Frédéric and Alexandre Arnault to the LVMH Board of Directors.

From left to right, Sidney Toledano and Michael Burk (LVMH - Jean-François Robert)

LVMH Group has named Michael Burke as the new CEO of its Fashion Group, which includes brands such as Vuitton, Celine, Kenzo, and Loewe. He succeeds Sidney Toledano, 72, who now takes on the role of advisor to Bernard Arnault. For over twenty years, Toledano had brilliantly led the Dior brand to the success it enjoys today and directed the LVMH Fashion Group division for four years.

Michael Burke, 66, an advisor to Bernard Arnault since last year, also led the Louis Vuitton brand for ten years. Under his leadership, the house surpassed annual sales of 20 billion euros. Bernard Arnault highlighted in a statement about him: "Present by my side even before the creation of LVMH, he has been and remains a key player in the group's success, particularly through the precision and finesse of his work at the helm of Fendi, Bulgari, and Louis Vuitton."

Among Michael Burke's stated goals is the intention to enhance the appeal of the brands represented by the division in order to further increase their revenue. His appointment comes during a period of significant changes within LVMH: in early January, the group announced the appointment of Frédéric Arnault, Bernard Arnault's son, to head the new Watches division, and last autumn, Antoine Arnault stepped down from his role as CEO of Berluti. Bernard Arnault's eldest son was entrusted with the position of CEO of Christian Dior SE and vice-chairman of the board of directors. More recently, according to the media outlet La Lettre, Bernard Arnault is also said to have decided to appoint his two sons, Frédéric and Alexandre Arnault, to the LVMH Board of Directors.

Michael Burke's arrival at the helm of LVMH Fashion Group has raised great expectations. Known for his ability to transform and enhance brands, he has already proven himself by reinventing Fendi after its acquisition by LVMH in 2003. He completely transformed the house, boosting its strengths and identity and making it one of the most coveted luxury fashion brands. He describes himself as "an advocate of the long term, craftsmanship, creativity, and excellence. These are all ingredients that will be part of the recipe I plan to implement with the teams of these houses to further increase their desirability."

This leadership transition between Mr. Toledano and Mr. Burke is particularly significant for LVMH, coming at a pivotal moment for the represented brands: Sidney Toledano leaves behind a strong legacy, with the Celine brand now generating over 2 billion euros in sales, Loewe reaching the billion mark, and Marc Jacobs showing notable progress.

Expectations for Michael Burke are high, particularly in consolidating LVMH's leadership in the luxury universe. These strategic changes will be effective as of February 1, 2024.

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