Will YSL CEO's first project at Apple be bringing the iWatch to market?

Former Yves St Laurent CEO Paul Deneve has been hired by Apple to head up special projects. Will his first task be to bring the iWatch to market?
Written by Kirsten Korosec, Contributor

Apple has plucked Paul Deneve out of the luxury fashion world and hired the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent as vice president of special projects.

Rumors of the hire, first reported by AppleInsider, were later confirmed by Bloomberg.

It isn't clear what Deneve will be working on over at Apple. The tech company could use an exec to head its retail operations, a position that has been empty since former Dixons exec John Browett was fired late last year.

However, it appears Deneve's talents will be used elsewhere. The retail operations position still remains open, reported Bloomberg.

Perhaps, Deneve's first project will be to bring the rumored iWatch to market. Rumors that Apple was developing a smart watch-type device made with curved glass have been circulating for months.

Last month, Apple further fueled speculation of a smart watch device when it sought trademark protection in Japan for "iWatch." The company has since filed for trademark protection in several other countries, including Mexico and Taiwan.

If Apple does indeed develop and sell a smart watch it could use the marketing prowess and experience from someone within the luxury fashion industry to cut through the rest of the noise in the crowded smart watch sector.

Deneve's resume, while recently dominated by management roles in the luxury fashion industry, shows a diverse background. He began his career as an internal auditor at ExxonMobil. Deneve joined Apple in 1990 where he held several sales and marketing positions in Europe. In 1997, he left for fashion house Courreges.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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