Like Luxottica, Essilor International is establishing a sort of transatlatic triumvirate to take care of the growing scope of its activities. Jean Carrier, who remains president and chief executive of Essilor of America, has been appointed chief operating officer of the company. He will work alongside Paul du Saillant and Laurent Vacherot, who have each been joint chief operating officers for many year. The trio will report to Hubert Sagnières, chairman and chief executive of the group.
In his new role, Carrier will have global responsibility for research and development, strategic marketing, intellectual property and Essilor's e-commerce activities, including the recently acquired Coastal.com operation. Carrier has been with Essilor for 25 years, working in the U.S., Switzerland and France as head of logistics, head of marketing and managing director. Based in Dallas, Carrier will remain CEO of Essilor of America, which he has headed for the past seven years, but he will be aided by a new president, Eric Leonard.
Leonard, who has already moved to Dallas with his family, has been most recently in charge of Essilor's European division. To take his place, Essilor has announced the appointment of a new European chairman. Bernhard Nuesser. A Swiss native, Nuesser was in charge of GrandVision's international operations between 1999 and 2003, and Essilor probably hopes that this will help the group to regain the coveted contract with Hal that it lost out to Hoya a year ago.
Announcing Nuesser's promotion, Sagnières described him as a “real retail expert,” particularly strong in premium marketing. Nuesser ran the Vision Express chain in the U.K. until 2008. He left the sector briefly to work as European president for Bata, but re-entered it at the beginning of 2010 to act as CEO of Mondottica's European subsidiary in the U.K. He joined Essilor one year ago as president of Central and Northern Europe.
Both Carrier and Leonard are Essilor veterans. Among other responsibilities, Carrier has acted as general manager of Essilor Switzerland, director of strategic marketing and president of Essilor Laboratories of America. Aformer purchasing manager for PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Leonard worked for The Boston Consulting Group before joining Essilor as chief sourcing officer from 2002 to 2005 and then as general manager of Essilor France from 2005 to 2010. He became president of Essilor Europe four years ago.
Additional management reshuffling is taking place at lower echelons following Carrier's promotion. Among other movements, Real Goulet, currently president of Essilor Laboratories of America, is moving to France to act as senior vice president of the group in charge of RX sunwear. His position in the U.S. will be taken over by Steve Nussbaumer, who has been most recently in charge of Essilor in the U.K. Meanwhile, César Melo has left as chief executive of FGX International, one of the U.S. subsidiaries of Essilor.