It's Not All Caviar And Champagne For Luxury CEO
And it isn't all fabulous parties and jetting about. Earlier this year after a meeting in Paris with union representatives from various PPR businesses about store closures, layoffs and other measures he found himself in a taxi that was surrounded by angry employees who kept him trapped for an hour as they yelled. Police had to come rescue him (a video is after the jump).
There's no denying that the luxury market has taken a huge hit in the past year and any potential recovery has been slow so far. Pinault has to prove to the world that he can be a successful CEO and a worthy heir to the empire founded by his father, François Pinault. His $4.7 billion payment for a controlling stake in Puma in 2007 seemed a little outside the luxury purview at the time but the acquisition has helped shield PPR from bigger losses. His proactive budget cutting in spring of 2008 also helped the company stay flush. Pinault seems to be one of the faces of the new luxury, a little more informal, a little more budget conscious and a little more flexible in terms of making big moves--all necessary characteristics in today's fluctuating market.