July 29, 2021

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A New Watch Company Executive Who Is Learning on the Job

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Perhaps with that in mind, Ms. Wright is not the only high-level executive from outside the watch world whom Audemars Piguet has hired over the last few years.

“The Audemars Piguet brand is on a path to a different type of journey,” said Olivia Crouan, the company’s chief brand officer, who worked with several spirits brands at LVMH Moët Hennessy before starting in her current position in 2018. “We are looking for some people who can have a more strategic approach, maybe, mixing an expertise in brand-building, long-term-wise, and an expertise as well in retail.”

Other companies seem to have a similar view. “In general, luxury goods companies, or at least the best luxury goods companies, have tried to create more of a diverse bench of talent rather than relying on managers that have only been growing within the industry,” said Luca Solca, an analyst at Bernstein. Examples, he added, include Antonio Belloni, group managing director at LVMH, who previously worked at Procter & Gamble.

Ms. Wright was raised in Greensboro, N.C., more than 4,000 miles from Audemars Piguet’s Swiss headquarters. Nurturing a fervent work ethic was a priority for her mother, a sales representative, and stepfather, a lawyer, who became Ms. Wright’s first boss when, at 12, she started working in his office.

“They just expected me to earn my own money and make my own way in life,” she said. “They were the old-school parents: ‘You need money to go out with your friends? How are you going to make it today?’”

Ms. Wright initially intended to become a political press secretary. In 1995, during the spring break of her senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she went to Washington and, she said, “walked the halls of Congress and handed out my résumé to every single North Carolina congressman I could find.” She began working for Fred Heineman after earning a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science that year. She subsequently worked for several public relations companies.

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