ZURICH (Reuters) - Luxury goods group Richemont <CFR.S> on Friday appointed Richemont veteran Jerome Lambert to the newly created role of chief operating officer to steer its watchmaking business into calmer waters.
Richemont cautioned in a statement it would not be able to reiterate the "exceptional level of growth" seen in the six months to Sept. 30 for the full year.
The maker of Cartier jewellery and IWC watches last month pre-released a 12 percent rise in constant-currency sales and an 80 percent jump in net profit for its first half.
Richemont's watchmaking division was thoroughly shaken in July when its boss, Georges Kern, who was appointed just months earlier to put brands such as Piaget and Vacheron Constantin back on track after a severe downturn, threw in the towel to join competitor Breitling.
After months of uncertainty and speculation about the likely appointment of an outsider, the world's second biggest luxury goods group named Jerome Lambert, a 20-year Richemont veteran, to head the group's watch brands in addition to the fashion brands, which he took over in April. Jewellery brands Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels have kept their current chief executives.
Lambert will be assisted in his new task by Emmanuel Perrin who was appointed as the head of specialist watchmakers distribution.
Lambert, in his late 40s, joined Richemont's Jaeger-LeCoultre brand in 1996, where he rapidly rose to the CEO job and later successfully restructured Montblanc.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Joshua Franklin and Amrutha Gayathri)