CELINE has confirmed the appointment of Séverine Merle as its new CEO, making her the third female CEO in the LVMH stable of brands. She replaces Marco Gobbetti, who left the house last year to take up the same position at Burberry.
Merle joins the house from another of LVMH's labels, menswear brand Berluti, where she is currently executive vice president. When she takes up her new position on April 1, she will report to Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, who has been filling the breach at Céline since Gobbetti's departure. Merle has plenty of experience with the inner workings of LVMH brands, having previously worked at Kenzo and Louis Vuitton.
“We see this as a smooth transition building on the project and continuing the momentum of the brand,” Roussel said of Merle's appointment. “Séverine represents a good fit with the culture of the brand.”
Also new for the brand is its decision to launch e-commerce under Merle's watchful eye. Having held out until now, the brand is said to be introducing the retail platform later this year.
“We believe it’s important that we show the breadth and depth of the collection,” Roussel continued. “We want to be very product focused. It’s always been the motto of creative director Phoebe Philo since the very beginning.”