Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Nobody Saw This One Coming...

The newly appointed CEO of Audemars Piguet is Ilaria Resta -

Courtesy of Audemars Piguet
While all of the "Man-Children" are moaning and groaning on forums and semi-anonymously posting misogynistic quips from the comfort of their man-caves on other blogs and online outlets, I thought I might first say bravo Audemars Piguet for taking a different solution, by not only hiring a woman as CEO of one of the big brands but bringing in someone from outside of Watch Town.

And although (if the commentary online is anything to go by) I might be in the minority here, I think that the pros of hiring an outsider far outweigh the cons.


  • Fresh Eyes - Ms. Resta is not bringing a lot of baggage from Watch Town with her. All too often someone comes in from another brand with a grudge, or a point to prove. The results, inevitably, are poor. 
  • Ego Check - Unlike pretty much every new big boss in Watch Town, she will hopefully not feel the need talk about her bona-fides on a daily basis.
  • No Sacred Cows - Ms. Resta will have the objectivity to look clearly and plainly at the business of Audemars Piguet. 
  • Reality Check - I sincerely doubt there will be another potential HR / PR fiasco like the hare brained commando training that years later remains hard to believe it really happened, let alone anyone with any common sense allowed it to happen.
So I am hopeful that this will lead to a reexamination of how watch brands can (and should) be managed. Time will tell.

But I would be remiss if I did not point out what I feel is a bigger concern, and that is the lack of leadership shown by the current CEO in working to identify and develop a potential successor. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but while Mr. B was never one to hide his light under a bushel, it was often presented as if he was Audemars Piguet. And some of that failure belongs with the board of AP as well. AP is a family brand, and owing to that simple truth, they should have invested more into internal development within their brand, and should have made that a priority for their CEO. 

Ultimately, a brand is not just the watch (despite the killing off of nearly everything, save the Royal Oak). It is not just the sponsor partners. It is the people who work for and with it. Audemars Piguet could have - and should have done better with this.

With all that said, we wish Ms. Resta God's Speed and smooth sailing as she takes the helm. And I have a feeling that her lack of Watch Town bias, and her fresh eyes will further reinvigorate Audemars Piguet.


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