PARIS, France — LVMH’s chief digital officer Ian Rogers is stepping down. To help fill the gap, the luxury giant is creating a “chief omnichannel officer” role at the group level, elevating Louis Vuitton vice president Michael David to the position, according to an internal announcement obtained by BoF.
Rogers, a former Apple Music executive who joined the group in 2015, is leaving his position to become chief experience officer at cryptocurrency start-up Ledger. He is set to maintain an advisory role at LVMH and will continue to host their innovation prize.
The shakeup comes as online luxury sales surge due to intermittent store closures since the coronavirus pandemic. For boutiques that remain open, online support features such as providing information about items’ availability, click-and-collect ordering and payments, or booking appointments to try on products have become key to driving traffic.
At LVMH, Rogers helped create an accelerator and prize for luxury and fashion tech start-ups and boosted the group’s efforts on data analysis and artificial intelligence. He also worked to coordinate online sales and marketing among the conglomerate’s more than 75 brands — a challenging brief at a company where brands have historically been given a long leash to pursue their own strategies.
LVMH has made headway in expanding the online offer at its brands, accelerating digital sales at powerhouse labels like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. But the group has largely remained on the sidelines of the multi-brand e-commerce race. An effort to launch an online luxury emporium division for the group during Rogers’ tenure, called 24S, has yet to gain traction in the highly competitive space.
“Ian has helped us integrate digital more deeply into our organisations with a sensitivity to the codes of luxury,” LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault said.
“In a transplant such as this the body doesn’t always accept the organ, but with the mentorship of Toni Belloni and Alexandre Arnault, and a lot of patience and tolerance from the incredibly talented and experienced LVMH teams, I built a team of my own and we worked together toward digital transformation in luxury,” Rogers wrote in a Medium post.
E-commerce has grown to over 10 percent of total revenue since Rogers’ appointment, LVMH’s internal statement said. Future priorities are set to include accelerating brands’ migration to shared technology platforms, leveraging data and artificial intelligence, and “giving specific attention on the fast-moving ecosystem in China.”
The shakeup comes after LVMH remained largely quiet on its digital efforts while smaller rivals Richemont and the Pinault family office Artemis made headlines by joining forces with Farfetch and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, investing in a new joint venture in November.
24S will now come under the direction of Chris de Lapuente, the former Sephora chief executive who currently oversees that business in addition to LVMH’s perfume and cosmetics unit. His portfolio will be expanded to include LVMH’s entire Selective Retailing division, which includes 24S, airport retailer DFS, and Le Bon Marché.
The new omnichannel officer Michael David, currently global head of Louis Vuitton’s digital retail and client development, joined the brand’s Americas division in 2011. He’ll report to LVMH’s managing director Toni Belloni alongside Group IT director Franck Le Moal, who will absorb some of Rogers duties, including digital partnerships.
“We have solid digital foundations at LVMH but this journey is just beginning,” Belloni said.
Disclosure: LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in The Business of Fashion. All investors have signed shareholders’ documentation guaranteeing BoF’s complete editorial independence.