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May 15, 2008
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Dior CEO named head of German fashion house Boss

By
AFP
Published
May 15, 2008

BERLIN, May 15, 2008 (AFP) - Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, the CEO of leading French fashion house Christian Dior Couture, was Thursday May 13th named head of German ready-to-wear company Hugo Boss, a statement from that company said.

If possible, Lahrs would begin on August 1, 2008, it added.

"My goal is to bring more of an international presence to the brand, in the large and growing markets of Asia and America," Lahrs, head of Christian Dior Couture since the end of 2003, said in the statement.

He will replace Bruno Saelzer, who quit as managing board chief of Hugo Boss in February amid differences of opinion with Permira, the British investment fund that gained control of 80 percent of the group in mid-2007.

Senior staff have accused Permira of pillaging the company by pressing managers to pay high dividends to make a rapid return on its investment.

The tension has also triggered the resignation of the head of the Hugo Boss supervisory board, Guiseppe Vita, who praised the appointment of Lahrs.

"With his international experience in leading brands of the high-end and luxury sector of the fashion industry and his expertise in distribution, he fills all the management conditions to bring to Hugo Boss (...) a new stage of development," Vita said.

Lahrs, of German origin, has worked for French luxury products group LVMH for 12 years.

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