Home » South Africa’s richest man hands some duties to new Richemont CEO

South Africa’s richest man hands some duties to new Richemont CEO

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Johann Rupert

Key Points:

  • Nicolas Bos takes the helm at Richemont, marking a shift in leadership for South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert.
  • Richemont reports record sales and gross profit, propelling its stock price and Rupert’s net worth. 
  • Richemont’s success highlights the potential of luxury goods stocks, with investor gains exceeding 29 percent this year.

Swiss luxury goods holding company Richemont, led by South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert, has named Nicolas Bos as its new CEO, effective June 1, 2024. This strategic move marks a partial leadership transition from Rupert, who has been the longtime chairman of the luxury goods giant.

Bos, who currently heads Richemont’s successful jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels, will take over several management responsibilities previously handled by Rupert. Jérôme Lambert, the current CEO, will remain with the company as chief operating officer, reporting directly to Bos while maintaining a seat on Richemont’s board.

Strategic leadership shift

The appointment of Bos signals a significant shift for Richemont as the 73-year-old Rupert begins to delegate his day-to-day management duties. Rupert, who has guided the company for over three decades, expressed confidence in Bos’s capabilities, stating, “Nicolas has proven himself in operating Van Cleef and building Van Cleef into a proper powerhouse.”

With more than 30 years of experience at Richemont, Bos is well-versed in the company’s operations and brand portfolio. His expertise positions him to navigate the competitive luxury goods market while ensuring continuity and a focus on high-end jewelry, watches, and fashion.

Financial performance and market impact

Richemont’s latest leadership change coincides with strong fiscal 2024 financial results. The company reported record sales exceeding $20 billion, with gross profit rising to €14.04 billion ($15.22 billion) from €13.72 billion ($14.88 billion) in 2023.

Despite macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges, sales increased to €20.6 billion ($22.4 billion) from €19.95 billion ($21.67 billion) the previous year, marking an eight-percent increase at constant exchange rates and a three-percent rise at actual rates.

These impressive results have driven a surge in Richemont’s shares, benefiting Rupert, whose $13.7 billion net worth is largely tied to his shares in the company. Rupert’s stake, amounting to 10.18 percent of Richemont, is currently valued at $9.76 billion. This year alone, his net worth has increased by over $1.2 billion thanks to his stake in the company.

Your Money and Your Life: Investors record impressive gains

For investors, Richemont shares have been a lucrative choice. A $100,000 investment at the start of the year would now be worth $129,239, a gain of $29,239. This impressive performance underscores the company’s resilience and appeal in the luxury goods market.

Nicolas Bos, with over three decades of experience at Richemont, is expected to leverage his deep understanding of the company’s operations and brand portfolio to navigate the competitive luxury goods landscape. His leadership is anticipated to ensure continuity and drive future growth for Richemont.

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