HONOLULU, Hawaii-DFS Group, the world's largest luxury travel retailer, announced yesterday that its board of directors has elected Philippe Schaus as chief executive officer effective Aug. 1, 2012. Schaus succeeds Edward J. Brennan who is retiring as CEO after 13 years in that position.
In addition, Schaus will succeed Brennan as chairman on Dec. 31, 2012. Brennan will become a non-executive director of DFS Group and will remain chairman of LVMH-owned Starboard Cruise Services and Onboard Media.
In addition to Schaus' appointments, Michael Schriver, the company's president for Stores and Business Development, has been promoted to the newly created position of chief operating officer.
Antonio Belloni, a non-executive DFS Group director and the group managing director of LVMH said: “Ed has been a formidable leader at DFS. He and his team have created the most successful luxury travel retail operation in the world. Sales and profitability have seen outstanding growth over the last few years, and we have expanded our geographic focus from just the Asia-Pacific rim, with stores now spanning more than half the globe.
“Philippe is the right person to assure that the success of DFS continues well into the future. He will further develop the DFS brand so that the experience we offer our customers remains at the forefront of luxury travel shopping,” added Belloni.
Robert Miller, a founder of DFS and a member of the DFS board of directors, said of Brennan: “I have watched this company grow and evolve. Ed has brilliantly created a retail institution that can continue to thrive in the future. Philippe inherits a well-run ship and a superbly talented team-we look forward to his years at the helm as he brings the added value of his extensive luxury brand experience.”
Raised in Luxembourg, Schaus began his career in 1987 at J.P. Morgan before joining The Boston Consulting Group GmbH in 1990. In 1992 he became International Commercial Director of the Porcelain Tableware Division at Villeroy&Boch before being promoted managing director for the division in 1999. He joined Louis Vuitton in 2003 as president of the Europe Zone and was appointed senior vice president international in 2006. Between 2009 and 2011 he was executive vice president of Louis Vuitton. Schaus joined DFS in July 2011 as group president of Merchandising and Marketing.
Brennan joined DFS from R.H. Macy in 1997 and rose to become its CEO in 1999 and added chairman to his responsibilities the following year.
Schriver joined DFS from R.H. Macy's in 1998. At DFS he has also been responsible for Merchandising and Distribution before his selection to run Store Operations in 2008 and, additionally, Business Development in 2011.
DFS Group was founded in Hong Kong in 1960 and has more than 200 airport concession stores in North America, Asia-Pacific airports, the Middle East and South Asia. The company has large downtown DFS Gallerias in Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Bali, Sydney and Auckland. The company, headquartered in Hong Kong, has more than 7,000 employees and is majority owned by LVMH and minority-owned by companies associated with founder Robert Miller. (DFS)