Nayla Hayek has been named chairwoman of the Swatch Group Ltd., succeeding her father, Nicolas G. Hayek, who died of heart failure at Swatch Group headquarters in Bienne, Switzerland on June 28. She was elected by a unanimous vote of the board of directors on June 30. Previously, she was vice-chairman of the board.
The move is doubtless the transition that Hayek Senior wanted. It ensures that the management of the world’s largest watch company remains in family hands. Nayla Hayek’s brother, G. Nicolas (Nick) Hayek, succeeded his father as Swatch Group CEO in 2003. Hayek Senior had two children. The fact that they now hold the two most important posts in the company that he founded guarantees that the policies and vision he put in place will remain.
Nicolas Hayek Senior controlled 40% of the shares of the Swatch Group through what is called “the Hayek Pool.” The Hayek family is understood to now control those shares. Nayla Hayek has been a member of the Swatch Group board of directors since 1995 and was for many years an advisor to the group. She had a career raising Arabian horses and as an international Arabian horse judge. In 2007, she began working in the Swatch Group, in addition to her board of directors duties. In 2008, she became CEO of Tiffany Watch Co. Ltd., which is a Swatch Group subsidiary via an agreement signed with Tiffany & Co., New York, in 2008.
Nayla Hayek is the mother of Marc A. Hayek, CEO of Blancpain and a member of the group’s executive management board. Blancpain is one of 18 Swatch Group watch brands.