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Yves Carcelle dies at 66; former CEO of Louis Vuitton

Yves Carcelle dies at 66; former CEO of Louis Vuitton
Yves Carcelle, shown in 2003, became head of the Louis Vuitton brand in 1990 and set about transforming the trunk maker into LVMH's biggest and most profitable label. (Martin Bureau / AFP/Getty Images)

Yves Carcelle, 66, the former chief executive who turned Louis Vuitton into the world's largest and most valuable luxury brand, died Sunday in Paris after a long illness. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which owns Vuitton, announced his death in a statement.

Carcelle, who spent much of his career traveling the world looking for the next Vuitton outpost, became head of the brand in 1990, a year after joining LVMH, and set about transforming the trunk maker into LVMH's biggest and most profitable label. He hired Marc Jacobs as artistic director in 1997 and expanded Vuitton into ready-to-wear and, more recently, fine jewelry, while opening shops in locales as varied as Las Vegas and Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

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Carcelle stepped down as CEO of the label in 2012 and became vice president of Foundation Louis Vuitton, a Frank Gehry-designed art museum that is slated to open on the outskirts of Paris in October. He remained on LVMH's executive committee.

Born May 18, 1948, in Paris, Carcelle attended the Ecole Polytechnique there, graduating with a degree in mathematics in 1966. He also earned a master's degree in business administration from the French business school Insead, according to a company profile.

Beginning his career as a product manager at Spontex, a maker of household cleaning products, in 1970, Carcelle joined Blenda Pharm laboratories in 1974. He was appointed director of the Absorba clothing brand at Poron in 1979 and became president of Descamps, a maker of household linen, in 1985. He joined LVMH in 1989 as director of strategy.

— Times wire reports

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