Former Richemont co-chief executive Bernard Fornas was one of the most experienced executives in the watch and jewellery market, and is highly respected throughout the luxury industry. He announced his retirement in March 2016, but continues serving on the company's board of directors as a non-executive member.
Fornas oversaw all the brands under Richemont’s umbrella, following chairman Johan Rupert’s sabbatical. He ran the Swiss conglomerate with two other co-chief executives, Richard Lepeu and Gary Saage, in charge of logistics and finances respectively. He is also a member of the group’s management committee.
To date, Fornas’ greatest achievement is his positioning of Cartier in emerging markets. The cash cow of Richemont, Cartier has become the primary beneficiary of China’s emergence as an important luxury watch market. Fornas was responsible for overseeing Cartier’s geographical expansion and growth strategy. In Rupert's words, “Cartier has thrived and is now exceptionally well positioned as the world’s pre-eminent international jewellery maison, no small measure to the commitment, enthusiasm and hard work of Bernard.” Fornas was chief executive of Cartier for over a decade.
Fornas graduated from Lyon Business School and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.