Patek Philippe, the 180-year-old, Geneva-based watch firm, has changed the guard at its U.S. subsidiary. Lisa Jones officially took over as president of the Henri Stern Watch Agency (HSWA), as the U.S. subsidiary is called, on May 1. A 16-year HSWA veteran, Jones previously was the company's vice-president. She is the first woman to lead HSWA, which was founded in 1942, by Henri Stern, grandfather of Patek Philippe's current president, Thierry Stern.
Jones succeeds Larry Pettinelli, who has left the company "to embark on the next phase of his career," the company said in a May 1 letter to Patek Philippe's U.S. retailers and clients. The letter was signed by Stern and Hank Edelman, Chairman of the Board of HSWA. Pettinelli has been president since 2007 and an HSWA employee since 1988.
Lisa is exactly the right person to take [the U.S. subsdiary] to the next level in an evolving and challenging environment.
Thierry Stern, Patek Philippe President
Jones joined HSWA in 2003 working in public relations, sales and marketing and rising to company's number two spot. Prior to Patek Philippe, she worked in communications at the New York office of Antiquorum, the Geneva-based watch auction house.*
"Lisa has excelled at every step during her career here, developing a well-earned reputation as a go-to person among our retail partners and customers," Stern and Edelman wrote in their letter. "Lisa's passion for the brand is contagious and goes to the very core of what we are about as a company.*
"Lisa has also demonstrated strong leadership skills and has emerged as an authentic voice in the organization she embraces change, values innovation, fosters collaboration, and recognizes that building a strong team and a positive culture is as valuable as the timepieces we manufacture."
"It is this combination of respect and admiration from both our customers and our team," the letter continued, "that make[s] Lisa exactly the right person to take the HSWA to the next level in an evolving and challenging environment."*
Stern and Edelman hailed Pettinelli as "a loyal and valued employee." He started as a salesman, became vice president in 2000, and president seven years later, succeeding Edelman, who moved up to chairman.*
"Under Larry's dedicated leadership, the fact that Patek Philippe in the USA has been a stable, successful company is certainly due, in part, to his diligence and character," Stern and Edelman wrote. "We want to express our gratitude to Larry for his loyalty to the company, for his commitment to our ideals, and for his leadership of our gifted and dedicated employees."