Laurent Schmitt has become president of BBGR, the big and growing French lens company owned by Essilor International. He replaces Alain Pierre, who is retiring after eight years in the position. Schmitt, who is 49 years old, worked for Essilor in Italy and Portugal for 14 years before running the Italian operations of GrandVision between 1999 and 2004. He then returned to Essilor to run its operations in Italy and then in Brazil. As for Alain Pierre, he first joined Essilor in 1982, first working in its equipment division. He has led BBGR since 2000.