Hermès International Deputy Managing Director Patrick Albaladejo, who helped defend the French luxury-goods maker from a potential takeover by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, has left the company. Albaladejo, who joined Hermès nearly a decade ago and most recently held the title of Senior Vice-President responsible for strategy and image, quit at the end of February, which he confirmed via email last week. While the 58-year-old failed to provide an explanation for his departure, he reportedly plans to focus on teaching and consulting. Before joining Hermès, Albaladejo served as the managing director at spirits firm William Grant & Sons and held posts at Diageo and Sovedi France.
image courtesy of le21eme
Following the the exit of Hermès's former Chief Executive Officer Patrick Thomas, who stepped down last year, Albaladejo helped protect Hermès after LVMH revealed in 2010 that it had built up a stake using derivative instruments that it then converted. Such actions, which stem from transactions that date back to 2001, were eventually deemed by unlawful by French financial services watchdog, Autorité des marchés financiers. As a result, The AMF allowed the family that controls Hermès International to pool their assets without offering to buy out minority shareholders, an exemption from French law that shores up their defense against a possible LVMH takeover, and LVMH was penalized with a $10.4 million fine.
Interestingly, Albaladejo's departure come closely on the heels of LVMH's relinquishment of its Hermès shares. Following intervention by a French court, LVMH agreed to distribute its 23 percent stake in Hermès to its shareholders and institutional investors and has agreed not to buy more shares in Hermès for the next five years. According to reports, divested its 23% stake in Hermès on December 17, 2014, and now LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault and his family now own less than 10 percent of Hermès.