Executive Vice President, Omni Channel and Commercial Operations, Swarovski, Zurich, Switzerland
Why you should listen
In luxury retailing, branding and distribution go hand in hand. Michele Molon brought his extensive retail expertise from luxury brand Montblanc over to Swarovski, where he is responsible for Omnichannel accessibility of Swarovski products to its consumers across 170 countries.
When interviewed by Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” he spoke of his mission as one that is focused on the modern customer journey: building experiences that customers interact and form emotional connections with, in any place, at any time, and in any medium. “Today the classic retail rules are outdated, we need to go further, through innovations that are intertwined with digital”. This means his team has to deliver the operational frameworks, guidelines, activation plans, channels orchestration, tools, products, and services to all channels, considering the local and global needs whilst respecting the brand goals and the targeted timings.
Trained at Harvard Business School, Michele ensures that Swarovski strategies are adjusted to always engage the connected consumer and respond to demands across 2,800 physical and online stores by developing product design based on the CRM feedback. He says, “I find that you learn a lot about the behavior of the end consumer and listen to his opinions, but the key is to have the courage to think without limits and boundaries and never be afraid to launch projects in which you believe.”
Hear Michele speak at Worldwebforum 2020 about winning customers with emotional and digital connection.
Swarovski is a family-run, independent business, which was founded more than 120 years ago. Throughout its history, Swarovski has strived to remain true to the founder’s vision of a responsible company that acts at the forefront of design, creativity and technological innovation. Now run by the fifth generation of family members, the company has roots in Victorian-era disruptive technologies. What started in 1895 as a small crystal manufacturing business in Wattens, Austria, has grown to be a leading global group of companies that for generations has recognized that the long-term success of the company is inseparable from the well-being of its customers, employees, the environment, and society as a whole.
The Swarovski Crystal Business, which was founded in 1895, represents the largest area of business for the Swarovski Group. Swarovski designs, manufactures and sells highest quality crystal, genuine gemstones, created stones, and finished products such as jewelry, accessories and lighting solutions. With a rich history and a culture of technological leadership, Swarovski is committed to growth and to maintaining its place at the forefront of design, creativity, and technological innovation. Swarovski is a Member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Swarovski´s production locations are Austria, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Serbia, and the US and its products are sold in approx. 170 countries.
A sparkling career
Michele stared his collaboration with Swarovski in 2010 in the position of Managing Director Italy for Consumer Goods Business. This position allowed him to widen his knowledge. His energy and professional vitality brought him to achieve consolidating and challenging results for the third most important branch in the world: he and his team further developed one of the most important Key Market, with a network of ca. 250 Monobrand Stores and +900 Multibrand accounts in different formats.
In 2016 Michele held an executive education at Harvard Business School, being an alumnus of the Advanced Management Program 2016.
Effective from January 2017, in his new role in Swarovski as Executive Vice President Omnichannel & Commercial Operations and permanent member of the Management Board: he is centrally responsible for the Omnichannel accessibility of the products to Swarovski’s consumers across the 140 Countries.
The mission of the Omnichannel & Commercial Operations is to build the bridge between the Brand promise and the Consumer Experience, being responsible from concept validation to its transmission. This division has to deliver the operational frameworks, the guidelines, the activation plans, the channels orchestration, the tools, the products and the services to all channels, considering the local and global needs whilst respecting the Brand goals and the targeted timings.
It is responsible for ensuring rationality and consistency in all the business decisions taken in the company, advocating the Sales and Consumer Interaction’ needs and requirements and enabling the Markets to excel in execution and win the Consumers.
Michele is an innovative manager who, leaving his hometown Verona (North East of Italy), decided to “live” internationally, creating a professional personality and not just a professional career.
Michele Molon graduated in Foreign Languages and while attending University he started his adventure in Retail. Working for national chains, moving to first to Switzerland and then to Germany when he was 20, where he stayed until the age of 23. During this time, he opened up a foreign market for an Italian company and was able to revolutionize the concept of medium price prêt-à-porter in Germany, with remarkable success.
The desire to live in Italy again, to work for a multinational company of luxury and to accept to reposition himself professionally, lead him to begin his adventure in the Richemont Group, for the Montblanc brand. At the age of 23 he managed the third boutique of the prestigious brand and for years he built a solid experience and career in the retail world, leading him to the International Retail Operations Manager at Hamburg’s headquarters and becoming the Montblanc Italia Retail Manager: 10 years of passion under the white star, traveling around the world and managing local, national and international situations, touching on retail issues, human resource management, training, marketing, development and financial controlling.