Oct 14, 2020
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Watches of Switzerland names former Hilton executive as new chairman

Oct 14, 2020

Ian Carter, a long-time Hilton executive who left the hospitality company earlier this year, is set to join the Watches of Switzerland board as the new chairman.

The appointment is effective November 1, with Tea Colaianni, senior independent director, chairing the board in the interim. Former chairman Dennis Millard left following the company’s AGM on Wednesday.

The Leicester-based group is the UK’s biggest luxury watch retailer, with leading brands Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Mayors in its portfolio.

Carter has strong credentials in the luxury sector, having spent the past 15 years with Hilton Worldwide. He joined Hilton International as CEO in London in 2005 and was an integral part of the senior team that took Hilton Worldwide private, and then public in 2013. 

Prior to that, he held a number of senior positions at UK and US consumer-facing and luxury companies. And he has served on a number of boards in the UK and the US, including Burberry Group between 2007 and 2019.

Commenting on his appointment, Tea Colaianni said: “Ian's wealth of commercial, business and board experience and knowledge of the consumer, retail and luxury sectors in particular in the US and the UK will be a valuable asset for the group as it enters the next phase of strategic growth."
Carter added: “I could not be more excited about joining the team at this time. After a very successful IPO the opportunities for further growth are outstanding and most importantly, the team led by Brian is clearly energized and focused on delivering world class luxury retail experiences.
“I look forward to working with the Board and Management to further build upon this success."

Earlier this month, the retail group said it had a “stronger than expected” second quarter, with revenues up by 20% in constant currency. This resilient performance was achieved despite lower tourist and airport sales in the UK.

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