While probably yesterday everyone has been congratulating Jean-Fred Dufour I was chatting with Jean-Claude Biver about one of his protégées. Today I had the time to tape this short stirring conversation I now invite you to listen too.
Maybe Jean-Frédéric Dufour is even Jean-Claude Biver´s favourite protégée. Dufour started his career with Biver at Blancpain, and then worked for Ulysse Nardin. Later he developed and managed the L.U. Chopard manufacture in Fleurier for the family Scheufele and then was appointed the CEO of Zenith by Biver. During all the years the two became close friends and Dufour never made no secret of the fact that Biver was his mentor.
I just got the always very, very busy Jean-Claude Biver on the phone. We talked about Dufour and his new role at Rolex and Biver also gave me his view on how Dufour will change this Swiss horological universe.
Now I invite you to listen to our 10:49 minutes conversation …
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But Jean-Frédéric Dufour, the future CEO of Rolex, was not the only one to belong to a group of young ascending managers that worked with Biver. Please think about Philippe-E. Peverelli, the CEO of Tudor; also Peverelli worked for Biver.
Let´s not forget Ricardo Guadalupe, the CEO of Hublot, Michele Sofisti, the CEO of Girard-Perregaux and the Sowind Group, Aldo Magada, the International Sales & Business Development Director at Breitling, Christian Lattmann, VP at Jaquet Droz and VP – Head of Product Management at Breguet and many more.
To be in Biver´s team means to work hard, but the benefit is to learn a lot. Also today Biver has his own “little” network and he still has his protégées.
No doubt Jaen-Claude Biver already today knows whom he will nominate as the successor of Jean-Fred Dufour as CEO of Zenith. Before taping the interview we exchanged some names, but of course they are confidential until officially confirmed by LVMH for its sister company Zenith.
You know what? For me it is pretty funny to see two ex-Biver guys now steering Rolex and Tudor. Should we now formulate: Is Rolex being Biverised? Maybe!
I expect Jean-Frédéric Dufour to change Rolex in a sustainable way. The Geneva giant with the crown in the logo did choose 45-year-old Dufour as a long-term CEO, as a CEO who is still quite young, but wisely creative and credible innovative. Dufour will bring some changes into the rigidified, old Rolex structures to make the brand even more attractive to young people without forgetting for what Rolex stands for. Dufour showed how to do this with Zenith and how to quickly gain ground with this strategy. As far as I believe there is no necessity at Rolex for it, but Dufour also brings a lot of manufacturing know-how to the brand. So Dufour is the right guy for this job.
Before concluding this article let me formulate the following two things:
- Dear Jean-Claude Biver, I hope I gave you the credit you deserve! You are always a wonderful source of inspiration, an excellent teacher and what I would call a real kingmaker.
- Dear Jean-Fred Dufour, I wish you all the best for your huge challenge and I hope you will stay the humble and friendly guy I meanwhile know for many, many years. Let us hope that you will change Rolex and not Rolex will change you.