Bernhard Nuesser, the seasoned Swiss executive who was recently appointed European director for Essilor International, is taking over next month as president of Eurom 1, the European federation of national ophthalmic optics associations, taking the place of Vittorio Tabacchi, the former owner and chairman of Safilo Group.

Nuesser knows many aspects of the eyewear business. He ran the international operations of GrandVision between 1999 and 2003, and then he ran its Vision Express chain in the U.K until 2008. After a couple of years in the shoe business with Bata, Nuesser re-entered the sector in 2010 by acting as chief executive of Mondottica's European subsidiary. He left the company a year ago to join Essilor as its president for Central and Northern Europe.

Bertrand de Limé, who retired from Essilor in 2008 after running its operations in Europe and Latin America for 12 years, will remain as general manager of Eurom 1 for a few months to help in the transition. De Limé had acted as president of Eurom 1 between 2001 and 2004. He also ran Gifo, the French ophthalmic optics association, until 2008.

Jean Félix Biosse Duplan, another long-time executive of the Essilor group who led its Vision Impact Institute until recently (see the related article in this issue), has been elected as one of the three vice presidents of Eurom 1. The other two are Renato Sopracolle and Oliver Fischbach, who represent the Italian and German ophthalmic optics associations, respectively. There was only one vice president before, Antoni Olivella from Spain.

Eurom 1 is currently handling several important regulatory matters that have relevance at the European level – in particular a new directive on medical devices; the Reach regulations on cadmium and other potentially toxic substances used in frames; and import duties on Thailand and some other Asian countries.