retail | January 11, 2017

How Did Maureen Chiquet Lead Chanel Through a Decade of Disruption?

We don’t often think of empathy and collaboration as intrinsic to heading a thriving global business. But when Maureen Chiquet led Chanel through one of the most tumultuous eras in retail—and grew the company threefold, no less—it was this overlooked skillset that allowed them to evolve.

Chiquet served nine years as Chanel’s first global CEO, to immense success. But how does a 100-year-old legacy company see such unchecked growth—especially in an era where change, not continuity, is the norm? To Chiquet, brands that survive today’s crowded, innovation-heavy business world have at least two things in common: a strong core purpose and a winning, supportive corporate culture. With technology bridging the gap between companies and consumers, businesses have become more customer-oriented than ever. And that’s a good thing. But it also means new strategies: listening, communicating, and collaborating both inside and outside of your organization.


A trend-setting leader, Chiquet has been recognized by the best in the business: Fortune named her to its “International Power 50”; Forbes listed her among its “100 Most Powerful Women”; and The Wall Street Journal called her one of its “50 Women to Watch.” Her experience isn’t limited to Chanel, however—she’s worked at The Gap, helped launch and build Old Navy to $5 billion in sales in five years, and even served as President of Banana Republic.


In her post-Chanel career, Chiquet is focusing on writing, speaking, and developing novel leadership initiatives. Her talks center on modern leadership, branding, and achieving success on your own terms. And whether you’re self-employed, a burgeoning startup, or a Fortune 500 giant, Chiquet’s advice rings true: listen to your team, your customers, and yourself. You’ll be surprised what you might hear.


To hire former Chanel global CEO Maureen Chiquet as your next conference speaker, contact The Lavin Agency, her exclusive representative for keynote bookings.

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