REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014
THIERRY CHAUNU, LUXURY GOODS

My new series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, luxury brands, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Individually, they are creating important new models or trends; are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; or are writing and publishing hard-fought insights.

It is difficult to name anybody in the luxury goods industry more respected or revered than Thierry Chaunu.

It is pleasure to explore Thierry’s experience and learn his views about how the world is emerging.

Profile: Thierry Chaunu is a luxury goods industry leader with vast management experience of iconic brands such as Cartier, Christofle, Chopard, Leviev Diamonds, Marina B, Damiani, and lately Mauboussin Jewelers.

Thierry started as a product manager at the Cartier headquarters in Paris and was promoted to vice president marketing at Cartier North America. He evolved as a world class C suite executive as president of Christofle, president of Chopard and president & COO of Leviev diamonds. Thierry oversaw domestic and global expansion; opened stores and wholesale distribution. He inspired new sources of revenues and produced engaging customer experience that is emulated throughout the industry. He is passionate about technology, entrepreneurial growth and fresh ideas.

Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your past?

Thierry Chaunu: The luxury industry has matured significantly since the early eighties. When I started my career at Cartier headquarters in Paris, we were elaborating all the codes and recipes (such as selective distribution, marketing methodology, etc…), at a time when other luxury brands were still very much family-owned and parochial. Others quickly followed suit in the nineties. They emulated our practices, adopted our strategies and set codes. Then they became what they are today — usually parts of big conglomerates.

Cartier was a pioneering firm and I am proud and grateful to have been associated to the incredibly exciting years of world expansion.

Mary Olson: How do you see the way the world is emerging?

Theirry Chaunu: The world is now linked electronically with the Internet and social media networks. New dynamics are constantly coming to play. Cultural boundaries are merging and creating new level-playing fields. Even small companies, if they have creativity and talent, can accomplish, in a short few months, what took years to achieve. Today, luxury entrepreneurs can create their own dynasty.

Mary Olson: What do you think about as you look forward?

Thierry Chaunu: The world has opposed experience in favor of youth. At this stage in my professional career, I think more entrepreneurial than ever. Experience IS youth. Human values and ethics are more important than material assets.

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