According to a company statement released on January 27, the American-born Chiquet is departing “due to differences of opinion about the strategic direction of the company.”

Alain Wertheimer, the grandson of the original business partner of Chanel’s founder, Gabrielle Chanel, is said to take over the operational management of the company during the search for a new Chief Executive.

“During her nine years as global CEO, Maureen Chiquet oversaw the successful international expansion of the House of Chanel, enhanced its luxury positioning and image, and grew the business in all categories. She also established a truly global organisation and enhanced the culture and leadership of the company,” the company said in a statement.

Chanel, whose US$4,000 quilted leather handbags are considered by many as the ultimate in French luxury, is privately owned by the Wertheimer family. In 2015, it reported a 38% increase in annual profit, a rare growth story during a year where the luxury industry as a whole suffered. Its estimated 13% sales compound annual growth rate is nearly double that of the global luxury goods average over an 18-year period.

Source: The New York Times