No, I haven't confused Francois Bennahmias with Merk (the previous CEO) or someone else at AP. Bennahmias began working for AP back in 1996. He is 48 years old now. The fact that he is speaking of getting married doesn't mean its will be his first wife. I have seen something about him having worked in with fashion (not a surprise as he is French), but I don't know what his involvement was. I remember reading the article in print regarding how George Henri Meylan then CEO of AP offered him a job, trust me I was in grad school and sure wished I had gotten that offer with no real training or higher learning degrees (but he may have since gotten some degrees to move up in the company). In any event, my point was you made it sound as though he is a newbie and clueless about the industry, as you stated, "I understand he has basically no knowledge about watches." However, he has been with AP since at least 1996, working in France, Singapore, and introducing the brand to Australia, and then having been CEO of AP North America since 1999...so hopefully since 1996 and becoming their CEO he's well beyond newbie status and knows about watches and the industry. So far everything he has done at AP has increased brand awareness, sales, and profit so I think their is a strong likelihood he is leading AP in the right direction ...even if I find brand ambassadors detract from a brands (not just AP but from all of them).
Ah, understood. I didn't mean to imply that he's a newbie or clueless about the industry, just that he seems to be more of an expert on sales/marketing rather than product development. Nothing wrong with that - companies undergoing leadership transition will typically pick among candidates with a wide range of backgrounds (sales/marketing, supply chain, R&D, finance, etc) and choose the one whose skills/knowledge match up with the board's vision for the company's future. Anyway, he seems to be a very creative and energetic guy and I expect that he will only continue to invigorate the brand in new and existing markets.