Apple Hires Patrick Pruniaux from Swiss Watch Maker Tag Heuer

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Apple hires Tag Heuer's Patrick PruniauxApple hired yet another retail expert recently, this time from the high end watch maker Tag Heuer. The iPhone and iPad maker brought on board the company's vice president for sales Patrick Pruniaux and his fist official day at his new job is Monday.

There isn't any word on exactly what Mr. Pruniaux will do at Apple, leading to speculation that he will be part of the company's iWatch smartwatch team. With his retail experience, however, he could've also been hired to work with Angela Ahrendts as a top-level retail executive.

Ms. Ahrendts was previously the CEO of the fashion retailer Burberry, but was hired away to become Apple's senior vice president of retail and online stores last October. She started her new job in April after transitioning out of her CEO role at Burberry.

Apple has been clear about Ms. Ahrendts role with the company, but not so with Mr. Pruniaux, which has helped fuel the notion that he'll be working on an unannounced product like the rumored iWatch.

The iWatch is said to be a smartwatch device loaded with health and fitness tracking sensors. The device is rumored to be coming in multiple sizes and possibly with multiple styles to accomodate different sized wrists.

A Tag Heuer spokesperson said they thought Apple intentionally sought out Mr. Pruniaux, adding, "I think he was probably head-hunted," according to Reuters.

Mr. Pruniaux and Ms. Ahrendts aren't the only retail experts Apple has hired over the past year. They company also hired Paul Deneve from Yves St Laurent as a vice president working on unspecified projects -- presumably the iWatch and other wearable tech.

Reports claim Apple's first wearable tech product will hit store shelves this fall, making it a little late in the game to bring on Mr. Pruniaux for the launch. Assuming he is part of the iWatch team, we'll be seing his contributions later.

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It doesn't matter if Mr. Pruniaux was hired to be part of the retail team or the rumored iWatch project. Apple has been on a hiring spree bringing on board top-notch people and is driving home the idea that it is very serious about what it is working on. Other tech companies should be very worried.

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Agree, it doesn’t matter what his actual duties are.  Deneve, Ahrendts, now Pruniaux, and I bet a few more low profile hires with the same high fashion /prestige goods background.  It’s pretty clear that Apple is entrenching itself even more in the luxury segment.


Not everyone can afford luxury goods. Yet no one is foreseeing the doom of Ferrari or Lamborghini because of their small market share. Luxury goods buyers have certain expectations, and that may be the reason for these hires.

Also, expectations that any version Apple’s rumored smart watch will come in below $200 are fading.

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