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LVMH's senior hire signals need for top level digital experts

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Luxury group LVMH has snagged former Apple Music executive Ian Rogers (pictured) and appointed him as chief digital officer of the LVMH Group, effective October 2015.Rogers succeeds Thomas Romieu and is tasked to strengthen LVMH’s digital capabilities and lead its efforts in the digital sphere.The appointment came in a week after Rogers announced his departure from Apple where he oversaw the radio portion of Apple’s new music streaming service, Apple Music, The New York Times reported.Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, said: “Rogers will bring his extensive experience in high-end digital ventures and his innovation-driven spirit to develop LVMH leadership in the digital luxury field."In April LVMH appointed Hector Muelas as DKNY’s chief image officer. He too moved from Apple where he was creative director of worldwide marketing communications. This latest talent acquisition between the luxury and technology sectors signals the former’s increasing enthusiasm for embracing digital.The appointment comes at a time when technological advancements is leading radical shifts in how luxury brands market to their consumers, particularly through digital.Unsurprsingly then, poaching digital expertise can provide a panacea to luxury brands that are eager to digitise their businesses. Still, luxury marketing in the online space may be overwhelmed by the challenging task of  providing differentiation by “emotionally engaging its prospect base", Ian Gorsuch, regional director, McLaren Automotive Asia Asia Pacific, told Marketing in a previous interview.According to Isabelle Harvie-Watt, Global CEO LuxHub, luxury is challenged by the digital world’s openness, igniting an urgent need for personalisation when it comes to attracting its consumers. Naturally, the desire to strategise according to the demands of the consumer in the online space may require brands to poach the right talent, from industries which breed the necessary skills - as seen from LVMH’s recent hire.In its quest to lead and excel in luxury’s foray into digital, it seems fitting for LVMH to hire an executive from the tech space. Rogers started his career in 1993 as webmaster for the band Beastie Boys and then at Nullsoft.In 2001 he founded Mediacode which was later acquired by Yahoo, where he became VP and general manager of Music. In 2008, he became CEO of Topspin Media. In 2013 he joined Beats Music as CEO. Last year he joined the iTunes team at Apple as senior director pursuant to their acquisition of Beats Music. Rogers contributed to the recent launch of Apple Music including Beats1, their digital streaming channel.  

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