Bertrand De Limé and Hubert Sagnière, two top executives of Essilor International who have been in charge of the group's operations and development in Europe and the USA lately, are being reassigned to new functions within the group, triggering some changes in the lower management.

Sagnière, a Frenchman who has served as president of Essilor of America in Dallas since 1998, will become president of Essilor for all of North America and for Europe, effective next Jan. 1. He will remain as chief executive of Essilor of America, but he will move to Montreal, Canada.

Sagnière will assume full responsibilities for supervising the European networks of Essilor and of its BBGR subsidiary as well as for operations in the USA and Canada. Xavier Fontanet, chairman and chief executive of the group, had presented Sagnière to Essilor's shareholders and analysts at the company's latest annual meeting as an example of successful implementation of a new development strategy.

Like Sagnières, De Limé will continue to report direcly to Fontanet, but with new functions. De Limé, who has been in charge of Essilor's European networks, will continue to supervise some of them, but he will become president of Essilor for Latin America and for its global instruments division. In Latin America, he will take over gradually the responsibilities of Olivier Mathieu, who is retiring after running Essilor's operations in Latin America.

Thomas Baier, who has been running Essilor's German subsidiary, will run Essilor's subsidiaries and networks for brands and product lines all over Europe. Alain Pierre will continue to run BBGR. Both of them will report to Sagnière under the new structure.

In North America, Laurent Vacherot, a 13-year veteran of the group who has been the president of Essilor in Canada for seven years, will move from Montreal to Dallas to take over Sagnières' former role. As president of Essilor Canada he will be replaced by Thierry Robin, who has been serving as strategic planning manager at Essilor's head office in France.