Chief of Yves Saint Laurent quits for Apple

YVES Saint Laurent’s chief executive Paul Deneve yesterday quit the luxury brand to take a senior role at Apple.

The technology giant said Deneve would be working on “special projects” as a vice president reporting directly into Apple boss Tim Cook. The move may be the latest indication that Apple is about to make a big push into wearable technology, in particular an internet-connected “iWatch”.

Deneve, a 52-year-old Belgian, worked in sales and marketing for Apple in Europe from 1990 until 1997 before starting a career in fashion. Earlier in the day, Yves Saint Laurent had confirmed his departure, saying he was leaving for a job “in the high-tech industry”.

He will be replaced by Francesca Bellettini, who is a director at Bottega Veneta, another luxury brand owned by French fashion giant Kering.

Speculation that Apple is developing an iWatch has mounted in recent months, as investors anticipate a new revolutionary product as iPad and iPhone sales start to slow. The company has trademarked iWatch in a number of international jurisdictions, while Cook has also hinted at the move.