French luxury goods maker Chanel said on Wednesday that Chief Executive Maureen Chiquet will leave the company by the end of January, the New York Times reported.
Chiquet, who has been CEO since 2007, is leaving “due to differences of opinion about the strategic direction of the company,” the NYT quoted Chanel as saying.
Chairman Alain Wertheimer will take over operational responsibilities as the company seeks a new leader, the Times reported.
The news of Chiquet’s departure came just a day after Chanel exhibited its latest haute couture collection in Paris.
Chanel could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular business hours.
A Francophile since childhood, Maureen Chiquet has climbed the ladder of the fashion industry to lead the world’s most glamorous brand
Ever since she was a child, Maureen Chiquet has had a love affair with all things French. As a young girl, she dreamt of “living in Paris and being French”, she told Time in 2010.
Her other passion was the visual arts, and she hoped she would one day have a career in “creating beautiful products and images”. Now, as the CEO of France’s most famous fashion house, the 50-year-old American businesswomen might feel that she has fulfilled the ambitions of her childhood self.
Passport to Paris
Born Kathryn Daughtery Maureen Chiquet in St Louis, Missouri, in 1963, she went on to be educated at the prestigious Yale University in Connecticut. Shortly after being named CEO of Chanel in 2007, she spoke to the alumni magazine about her career. She said her time at the university had been particularly fruitful: “One thing that’s unique about Yale in my memory was the access you get to great minds. There was never a hurdle. Maybe that environment creates that feeling of power to do things that are extraordinary.”
Graduating with a degree in film and literature, she was unsure of what to do next in her career: she walked out of one of her LSAT law exams. Instead, she found an internship in the city she had dreamt of living in since a child, as marketing intern at L’Oreal Paris. Speaking to Time, she described that moment as “the beginning of my career and love affair with the world of beauty and fashion”.