Earlier this week, Swatch Group announced a change at the helms of Omega, Raynald Aeschlimann will be taking over as President of the company from Stephen Urquhart, effective June 1st. Urquhart, who will be 70 in May, will retire but will continue to work on special projects and as a consultant.
Aeschlimann, a Swiss citizen, graduated with a degree in economics and an MBA from the University of St. Gallen (HSG). He joined Omega in 1996 as Sales and Marketing Project Manager, later he was Brand Manager for Omega and Blancpain Spain and has been the Group Coordinator for the Swatch Group’s Indian subsidiary since 2010. In 2013, he was appointed to the Swatch Group’s Extended Group Management Board.
Urquhart is leaving behind quite a large shoe for Aeschlimann to walk in, at a time when there are a lot of headwinds in the luxury industry. The new President is ready to take up the challenge and he is not blinded by the doom and gloom headlines; in a recent interview, he points to the shifting nature of luxury replica watch markets: if Hong Kong slows down, there is Japan to pick up. As he puts it:
“The world is not going down, it is simply changing.”