Tornare, who comes to Zenith after 17 years at Vacheron Constantin, started on May 1st. Listening to him, however, made us feel like he had been with the company much longer.
Biver knew of Tornare’s work at Vacheron Constantin, but he didn’t know Tornare himself. After a recommendation from a close friend, Biver decided to meet with him.
“I get a lot of recommendations from a lot of people, but I never listen,” he laughs. “But I have one or two friends who I trust, and one of them recommended Julien. I didn’t know Julien so I called him and suggested that we meet, and he said something very relevant for me. He said ‘I will fly to Europe on Saturday, we can meet Saturday night or Sunday morning, and I will fly back the same day,’ and I thought, this is the kind of person I need. This flexibility is exactly what I need. When I fly to Hong Kong, I sleep on the plane, I arrive, I work, and I am on the next flight out—no luggage, no pajamas, this is my style. So I said wow, this guy is dynamic, and that is an attitude I like”
Zenith has been struggling of late, and this reshuffling of management addresses this. One of Biver’s key strategies is to create a team of competent managers who can cross brands, solve problems and increase productivity. For example, two key production positions at Zenith were filled by Olivier Schwab and Aurélien LeBigot from TAG Heuer, with a view to turning Zenith around in the same fashion.
Biver considers people as his most important assets for the success of the companies under his umbrella, and he considers their success his success.
“I need successors, not success. I need the success of my successors because the success of my successors is my success. You don’t realize that at 38 years of age, you need to be 68 to understand. I will do everything so that Julien succeeds,” notes Biver.
We were able to catch Tornare on this busy day to ask him a few questions about himself and his first impressions of Zenith. We found him to be passionate and sincere, with as much energy and enthusiasm as the man who hired him.