updated 02:07 pm EDT, Sun July 6, 2014
Luxury brand hire brings another executive into the Apple fold for the iWatch
Last week, Swiss luxury-watch marker TAG Heuer reportedly lost a key person in its sales division to Apple. In an interview with CNBC, LVMH's head of watch brands Jean-Claude Biver confirmed that the company recently lost an executive to the iPhone manufacturer. Sources confirmed that the executive was Vice President of Global Sales and Retail Patrick Pruniaux.
In the interview on July 4, Biver confirmed that a "sales director" of TAG Heuer was hired away by Apple. Stating that the director left on July 3, he said that the former employee accepted a contract from Apple in order to launch the "iWatch." While Biver acknowledges that it's a loss for the company, he recognizes that it's a win for the talent.
"If the job is great, you should be happy for him," said Biver. "And this is a great job. If he would have gone to my direct competitors, I would have felt a little betrayed. But if he goes to Apple, I think it's a great experience for him."
While Biver didn't release the name of the executive, an unidentified source familiar with the hire told 9to5Mac that Apple hired Patrick Pruniaux, vice president of global sales and retail for TAG Heuer. Reuters confirmed the hire, however, Apple offered no comment. No details have been given about the position Pruniaux would be filling, though he was hired last month.
Hiring Pruniaux is considered as a big win for Apple as it gears up for a fall launch of the iWatch. Apple has reportedly courted numerous Swiss luxury-watch figures without much success prior to Pruniaux. A spokeswoman for TAG Heuer believed that Pruniaux was "probably head-hunted." She added that replacement had been located for the position left vacant at TAG Heuer.
Pruniaux worked as the global sales and retail vice president for four years at the company. His stint at LVMH and TAG dates back to 2000.