Emma Watson appointed to the board of luxury giant Kering


Paris (AFP)

Emma Watson, the actor who made her name as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, was named one of three new board members of French luxury group Kering on Tuesday.

The decision to approve the nomination of the 30-year-old Watson, alongside former CEO of Credit Suisse Group Tidjane Thiam and Jean Liu, the president of Didi Chuxing, was made by shareholders at the group's AGM.

Since the end of the Harry Potter franchise in 2010, Watson, who was born in Paris, has continued to act in films while also working for women's rights.

"She is one of the world’s most popular actors and best-known activists," said Kering -- which owns the Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta brands -- in a statement.

"Emma Watson is also a pioneer in advocating for sustainable fashion."

Thiam, 57, resigned from his position at Credit Suisse in February following a scandal involving internal espionage of former executives of the bank, of which he said he had no knowledge.

"Throughout his career, Mr. Thiam has led organisations in both the private and public sectors, and has developed projects and programmes that stimulate businesses and economies," Kering said.

The appointment of Jean Liu, 42, president of the mobile transport platform Didi Chuxing, means that China, a crucial country for Kering in terms of sales, is represented on the board for the first time, said Sophie L'Helias, lead independent director.

Kering chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault welcomed the appointments.

"Their respective knowledge and competences, and the multiplicity of their backgrounds and perspectives will be invaluable additions," he said.

"The collective intelligence that comes from diverse points of view and the richness of different experiences are crucial to the future of our organisation."

The Kering group employed more than 38,000 people worldwide at the end of 2019. Its turnover stood at 15.9 billion euros ($17.9 billion) last year, for a net profit of 2.3 billion euros.