By Jovan Krstevski
Rolex’s former chief executive and managing director Patrick Heiniger has died aged 62.
Heiniger died in Monaco last month of an unspecified illness. In December 2008, he abruptly left Rolex to “pursue personal interests”.
France honored him with the insignia of chevalier of the national order of the Legion of Honor in 2002 and appointed him commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2005.
Heiniger was the third managing director of Rolex, succeeding his father in 1992, six years after he joined the Swiss watchmaker as commercial director. Argentinean-born Heiniger lead the company for 16 years before retiring in 2008.
Heiniger followed the footsteps of his father, André J. Heiniger, who became managing director in 1963, succeeding Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex. He was responsible for strategic changes at Rolex during the 1990s, adapting to vertical integration production, ensuring autonomy across the brand and its parts.
WATCHGEEK wishes our deepest condolences to Heiniger’s loved ones, and to the entire Rolex SA family.