On May 4 2011, Rolex selected Riccardo Marini as the new CEO of Rolex . Before the promotion, Riccardo Marini had been managing Italian Rolex branch for over 10 years. He is the successor to Bruno Meier, who was in the office for only two years. Marini’s promotion to the CEO position came as a surprise to many, since Rolex gave no explanation as to why the CEO has been replaced again.

Marini’s predecessor, Bruno Meier spent most of his career working in the Swiss Banking industry before coming on board with Rolex. He seemed as a great addition to the company since he took over in 2008, right in the middle of the global economic crisis. Meier’s predecessor, Patrick Heiniger, was the CEO for many years but left the office after rumors circulated about his ties with Bernie Madoff and Rolex. Some accused Heiniger of losing a considerable amount of Rolex financial capital while collaborating with Madoff. People are also speculating that the recent replacement of Bruno Meier by Riccardo Marini is because he did not make an effort to suppress such rumors. Marini looked to be fitting for the job because he has been with Rolex for years and not only understands Rolex watches, but also company culture and strategies. He is considered by many to be a perfect candidate to lead Rolex into the next successful decade.

A little bit of history on the first ever position of Rolex CEO — Rolex was originally founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred David. The partners imported Hermann Aegler’s Swiss movements and placed them in watch cases by Dennison and other brands, eventually selling them to different jewelers who placed their own names on the dial of the watches. In 1919, the brothers moved and opened an office in Switzerland after registering the Rolex trademark. The name of the company changed several times, from the Rolex Watch Company to Montres Rolex, SA, until it finally became Rolex, SA.

After Wilsdorf’s wife passed away in 1944, he established the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation. He left all his shares to it, thus ensuring that some of the company’s profit would go to charity. To this day, the company’s shares are not traded, and Rolex is owned by a private trust.