Major news out of Biel, Switzerland, this morning: The Swatch Group has announced the appointment of a new president at Omega, following Stephen Urquhart’s decision to retire.

Mr. Urquhart, 69, had been Omega’s president and CEO since 1999, and was an important member of the Swatch Group Extended Group Management Board. He retires in June, but will continue to work closely with Omega as a consultant on special projects. His decision comes during a crucial time for Omega, just weeks after Baselworld and months before the Summer Olympics in Rio, its single largest communications operation of the year.

Replacing him at the top on June 1 will be Raynald Aeschlimann. Mr. Aeschlimann has been a member of the Extended Group Management Board since 2013, and currently serves as the Vice President and International Director of Sales at Omega.

In a separate communiqué, the Swatch Group announced the departure of another member of the Extended Group Management Board. Responsible for the group’s legal affairs, licenses, and patent matters, Hanspeter Rentsch leaves the group after “40 years of loyal service.” However, he will continue to represent the group at various executive committees, including the Confederation of Swiss Employers, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH).

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