Paris—Hermès International believes in keeping it in the family which is why the company’s majority shareholders–members of the founding family–have been so adamant against LVMH taking a stake in the company.
The French luxurygoods house further strengthened those family ties today when it announced a sixth generation member of its founding family as its new chief executive.
Axel Dumas, 42, was named joint CEO alongside longtime CEO Patrick Thomas, who was the first nonfamily ceo at Hermès. Dumas began working for company in 2003 and is now chief operating officer of Hermès.
“I have been working with Axel for more than six years; he has all the competences for the job,” Thomas aid. “I am glad a member of the Hermès family has been brought in to succeed me.”
Thomas, 65, who became ceo in 2006, has reportedly stayed on in his role longer due to the company and its majority family shareholders fight against LVMH which took a more than 20% stake in Hermès. Dumas is expected to become sole chief executive in June 2013.
While LVMH has said its stake in Hermes is an investment, not a takeover attempt, Hermès viewed the stake as hostile and began anti-takover measures such as setting up a holding company last year, H51, which controls 50.2% of Hermès’ shares.
In other appointments relating to Hermès’ founding family, Emile Hermès SARL, the family’s holding company that controls Hermès International, appointed Henri-Louis Bauer, a sixth generation family member as manager, replacing Bertrand Puech on July 1.
Puech was one of the most vocal opponents of LVMH’s stake and lead the family’s battle with LVMH. Members of the founding family control an estimated 71% of Hermes’ stock.