Zurich—Media reports surfaced Thursday indicating that Jean-Claude Biver is stepping back from his role as head of the watch division for LVMH, which owns TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith.

Reuters published a short news item early Thursday then updated the story later in the day to include quotes from Biver, who confirmed the change.

The longtime and well-respected watch executive, who has been overseeing the watch business at LVMH since 2014 and has been with the luxury conglomerate since 2008, told the news service he’s dropping his operational responsibilities but will remain as a non-executive president for the watch division.

The 69-year-old cited serious health concerns but noted that he has been feeling better in recent months.

Biver declined to comment to Reuters on another news report stating that his replacement would be Stephane Bianchi, who once headed French cosmetics group Yves Rocher.

LVMH had not issued a formal release or responded to National Jeweler’s inquiry on the matter by press time.

|Subscribe >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.