“Richemont announces that Sophie Guieysse is stepping down from the senior executive committee with immediate effect, and will not stand for re-election to the board of directors at the annual general meeting on 9 September 2020,” it said in a statement that gave no more details.
A source close to the company said Guieysse was still in her HR post but no longer on the senior committee.
The abrupt switch is another headache for Richemont, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and as employee anger over pay issues mounts.
Richemont announced strict cost-cutting measures including pay and bonus cuts for staff in May, but its annual report revealed that compensation for its top executives, including Guieysse, rose by about a third for the fiscal year to March, causing irritation among staff, sources told Reuters.
The group had already undergone a management reshuffle at the time of Guieysse’s appointment in 2017, with the replacement of almost all its brand heads and surprise departure of potential chief executive candidate Georges Kern to competitor Breitling.
Guieysse’s appointment was seen as an attempt to bring back stability, but more high-profile departures followed.
Chief Technology Officer Jean-Jacques Van Oosten left in May 2018 after just four months on the job, and Eric Vallat decided to return to his previous employer in 2019 after trying for a year to fix Richemont’s fashion and accessory business.
By Michael Shields and Silke Koltrowitz; editors: Stephen Coates and David Evans