Luxury brands group LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton today announced that Howard Meitiner has been named president and chief executive officer of the LVMH Specialty Retailing Group. Mr Meitiner's appointment is effective September 1, 2000. He is currently president and CEO of Sephora Americas and Asia Pacific. Both entities are part of LVMH's Selective Distribution Group.

In his new position, Mr Meitiner will oversee the continued development and expansion of Solstice and Synchrony, two newly launched, innovative retail concepts that focus, respectively, on sunglasses and watches. He also will be responsible for the development of other new retailing concepts and will represent the Selective Distribution Group in various retail ventures, including serving as a director of clothier Thomas Pink.

During Mr Meitiner's two-and-a-half-year tenure at Sephora, he oversaw the introduction and rapid expansion of the revolutionary Paris-based beauty chain, bringing over 57 stores to the United States, and 5 stores to Asia. Mr Meitiner succeeds Fred Wilson, who was recently named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Americas unit of LVMH's Fashion & Leather Goods Group. A successor to Mr Meitiner at Sephora is expected to be named shortly.

Pierre Letzelter, president of the Selective Distribution Group, said: "Under Howard's leadership, Sephora has had significant impact within the beauty industry in the United States, and has made important inroads into Asia - all within a very short period of time. We are confident that he will bring the same energy and commitment to his new position in Selective Retailing as he did to Sephora, and will ensure the Specialty Group's continued achievements."

Mr Meitiner added: "My years at Sephora have been extremely rewarding, and I have enjoyed my experience with the company. By joining Specialty Retailing, I now have an opportunity to explore new challenges and build on my experience in developing specialty businesses. I look forward to working with the Specialty Retailing team and bringing the business to new levels of success."

LVMH's Selective Distribution Group includes DFS Group, a leading retailer to international travelers; Sephora, a fragrance and beauty products retailer with stores around the world; the e-commerce site on the Internet ; Le Bon Marche, the Paris-based French department store chain; and the Specialty Retailing Group, which operates Solstice and Synchrony.

About LVMH

Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury products group, is represented in Wines and Spirits by a portfolio of brands that includes Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Krug, Pommery, Chateau d'Yquem, Chandon, Hennessy and Hine. The Fashion and Leather Goods division includes Louis Vuitton, Celine, Loewe, Kenzo, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Fendi and Pucci. LVMH is also present in the Fragrances and Cosmetics sector with Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy and Kenzo, and has recently acquired five promising cosmetic companies, Bliss, Hard Candy, BeneFit Cosmetics, Urban Decay and MAKE UP FOR EVER. LVMH is active in selective retailing through DFS, Sephora, Le Bon Marche and Thomas Pink. The Group has established a Watch and Jewellery division comprising TAG Heuer, Ebel, Chaumet, Zenith, Fred, as well as Omas, the prestigious Italian writing instruments company. Phillips, one of the world's largest auction house, which has recently teamed up with L'Etude Tajan, also belongs to the LVMH group. LVMH has recently launched eLUXURY, the authoritative online source for luxury goods and services on the Internet.

LVMH shares (LVMH.PA) are listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and NASDAQ in the United States (LVMHY).