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Former LVMH executive takes over French tannery

French entrepreneur Caroline Krug has become the owner and chief executive of Tanneries Pechdo, a specialist hide and small skin tanner based in the famous glove-making town of Millau in Aveyron in southern France.

Ms Krug invested in and joined the company in 2014 and worked alongside previous owner, Marc Barthelemy. Now she has acquired Mr Barthelemy’s shares, with the support of a local development fund, and taken over the business.

Caroline Krug’s career began in her native city, Reims, where she worked for the champagne maison her family founded in 1843, rising to become its export director in 1996. When Krug Champagne was acquired by luxury group LVMH in 1999, Caroline Krug went to New York to become its brand director, going as an employee of LVMH.

She spent the next 12 years of her career in a variety of roles at LVMH, including as a Louis Vuitton store manager in Paris and as the luxury leathergoods brand’s general manager for Switzerland.

Ironically, part of the appeal for Ms Krug at Tanneries Pechdo is that the company of which she is now owner is one of only a small number of French tanneries that remain independent, with many others having been acquired by luxury groups in recent years.

She is also proud of Tanneries Pechdo’s track-record in innovation: recent additions to its product portfolio include gloving leathers that allow wearers to use touchscreens, summer leathers with resistance to UV rays and machine-washable lambskin leathers for apparel. In 2015, the tannery won inclusion in a programme called Entreprises du Patrimoine Vivant (EPV), a label set up by the French government to recognise companies “for the excellence of their traditional and industrial know-how”.

Image shows Caroline Krug (left) with the research and development team at Tanneries Pechdo.

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