Fashion / Feature

Emma Watson, Tidjane Thiam and Jean Liu are now board members of Kering

Kering Board Member Appointments 2020

Luxury group Kering - which owns Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta - has announced three new appointments to its board of directors.

And they're names you might be familiar with, Tidjane Thiam, Jean Liu and Emma Watson. These additions were initially proposed in March but have become official this week.

In a statement, Kering Chairman and Chief Executive Officer François-Henri Pinault said: “Their respective knowledge and competences, and the multiplicity of their backgrounds and perspectives will be invaluable additions to Kering’s Board of Directors.

“The collective intelligence that comes from diverse points of view and the richness of different experiences are crucial to the future of our organisation. I am proud to add such impressive talents to the team.”

Tidjane Thiam comes from a financial and leadership background and has a long and impressive CV. He was the CEO of Credit Suisse Group for five years and in 2019, under his leadership, Credit Suisse delivered its highest profits since 2010. This year he was appointed to the African Union Special Envoy on coronavirus. Notably, is also a member of the International Olympic Committee and has served on the Board of Directors of 21st Century Fox.

Jean Liu has similar credentials. A tech innovator, you'll most likely know her as the CEO and founder of Didi, a ride-sharing app and platform. Under her guise, Didi became the largest multi-modal mobile transportation platform. Jean Liu was featured on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International List from 2016 to 2019, and Finance Asia’s list of The Region’s Top Entrepreneurs in 2019. She's a leader and vocal champion of women in business.

Emma Watson may be most widely known as an actress, but she's also an ambassador for UN WOMEN Global Goodwill. You might have seen her speech for the UN's HeForShe campaign a couple of years back - it has over three million views on the UN YouTube account. She's also a vocal environmentalist. She's the face of Good On You, an app that rates brands on ethics and sustainability. At the 2016 Met Gala, she wore a Calvin Klein dress made entirely from plastic bottles. Watson will specifically chair the Kering Sustainability Committee.

This move is a huge step forward for Kering, solidifying its commitment to diversity, sustainability and smart business - each new appointment has highly qualified but with their own unique skillset.

The news comes not long after a few other major shake-ups within the Kering portfolio. Both Saint Laurent and Gucci announced earlier in the year that they would depart the tradition fashion calendar and release collections on their own terms.

2020 has seen the evolution of fashion in a way we never have before. We're certainly excited to see what will be next for Kering and fashion in the future.


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