LONDON, United Kingdom — Martha 'Marty' Wikstrom, chief executive of fashion and accessories at Compagnie Financière Richemont, has resigned from her post, the luxury group announced today. Richemont is the Swiss parent company of fashion, jewellery and watchmaking companies including Dunhill, Chloé, Cartier and Piaget.
Wikstrom, a former managing director at London department store Harrods and president of American retailer Nordstrom, was appointed to Richemont’s board as a non-executive director in 2005.
She became the head of Richemont’s fashion and accessories division in 2009 and oversaw the redevelopment of six of the group’s high-end fashion brands, including Dunhill, Chloé, Azzedine Alaїa and Lancel, some of which were loss-making businesses just a few years ago.
Growth at Richemont’s fashion brands has remained sluggish, however. The segment “saw single-digit sales growth, [and] operating profits were lower than the prior year,” according to the company’s annual results for the year ended 31 March, 2013. Richemont’s other businesses, in particular fine jewellery and timepieces, sustained double-digit growth for the same period.
Wikstrom's departure comes at a time of management shuffles at the luxury group. Chairman and founder Johann Rupert recently announced a year-long sabbatical, to start in September, while Montblanc and Jaeger-LeCoultre both have new chief executives. Wikstrom’s successor has not been named.