Apple poaches Tag Heuer exec for iWatch

Apple has reportedly recruited Tag Heuer’s VP of sales and retail to work on its iWatch project.

Apple poaches Tag Heuer exec for iWatch

Jean-Claude Biver, president of the watch division at Tag Heuer’s parent company LVMH, told CNBC the employee “took a contract from Apple to launch the iWatch”.

Biver said he would have felt “betrayed” had the man in question left for a direct competitor, but joining Apple will be “a great experience for him”.

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“You must always be happy for the talent,” he said. “The talent is important for the company, but he is important for himself and if the job is great, you should be happy for him.”

While Biver didn’t say who the outgoing director is, 9to5Mac has named him has Patrick Pruniaux, citing “a source directly familiar with the Apple hire”.

Apple has built up a reputation for poaching talent to work on its closely guarded iWatch project.

Last year, the company snapped up Ravi Narasimhan, former vice-president of biosensor technology R&D at Vital Connect, and Nancy Dougherty of startup Sano Intelligence, where she was the hardware lead “designing a novel wearable sensor system”.

At the same time, the company also hired Jay Blahnik, a fitness expert who consulted on the development of a number of Nike+ fitness products, including the FuelBand.

In May, Apple continued its recruitment drive, taking on even more health technology experts.

The iWatch is expected to launch this autumn.

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