Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Ravi Thakran has been our Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of our Board of Directors since July 2020. Mr. Thakran currently serves as the Group Chairman of LVMH South and South East Asia and Australia/New Zealand, representing a portfolio of over 75 brands across multiple categories including wine and spirits, fashion and leather goods, perfumes and cosmetics, and watches and jewelry. He also serves as Chairman — Emeritus of L Catterton Asia. He founded L Capital Asia in 2009, the Asian private equity venture of LVMH. L Capital (including L Capital Asia) merged with Catterton in 2016 to form L Catterton. Mr. Thakran serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of R.M. Williams, an Australian luxury footwear and apparel brand. Mr. Thakran also served as a director on numerous public company boards, including SECOO China (Nasdaq: SECO), Future Lifestyle Fashions (NSE: FLFL), Mulsanne Group (HKSE: 1817), PVR Cinemas Ltd (NSE: PVR) and Clio Cosmetics Co Ltd (KOSDAQ: 237880). Mr. Thakran also currently serves as a director on numerous private company boards, including Arcadia s.r.l. (owner of Dondup brand) and CE LA VI. Prior to joining LVMH, Mr. Thakran held senior management positions at the Swatch Group, Nike and Tata Group, based in various global locations. Mr. Thakran holds an MBA from the India Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Mark Bedingham has been the Vice-Chairman of our Board of Directors since July 2020. Mr. Bedingham has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Myanmar Investco Limited, an investment and management company focused on the high-growth emerging economy of Myanmar, since 2015. Mr. Bedingham has more than 30 years of experience leading the global expansion of premium brands in international markets, including his tenure as Regional Managing Director of APAC (Asia Pacific) at Moët Hennessey. Mr. Bedingham also led the formation of multiple joint ventures in Asia including Chandon China and Wenjun Distillery in China and the founding of Dindori winery in India. Mr. Bedingham is currently an Executive Chairman of each of CE LA VI and Crystal Jade, two major hospitality companies owned by L Catterton. He served on the Board of Directors of DFS Group, one of the world’s largest travel retailers, from 2007 to 2014 and has served as a member on the Japanese Prime Minister’s Administrative Reform Council and European Business Council in Japan. Mr. Bedingham holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural and Forest Sciences from the School of Biological Sciences of Oxford University.
Mr. Jacobs has been the Chief Executive Officer of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas (“Six Senses”), a luxury hotel, resort and spa operator, since 2012. Prior to joining Six Senses, Mr. Jacobs spent five years at Starwood Capital Group as President of Global Hotel Operations where he was responsible for the development of two innovative new brands, Baccarat Hotels and 1 Hotels, both debuting in 2014. Mr. Jacobs spent 14 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Asia, 5 of which as Senior Vice President Operations for Asia Pacific beginning in 2003. Based in Singapore, he was responsible for the operation of 16 existing hotels throughout the Asia Pacific region with multiple additional properties under development in the region. He also looked after the spa and wellness function for Four Seasons globally. His career prior to Four Seasons included key leadership roles in Europe and the America’s both in hospitality operations in development on the sponsorship side of the table. He began his hospitality career in Food & Beverage with Trusthouse Forte in Europe and his spirit of adventure has taken him to postings around the world including London, Rome, Sardinia, Paris, Sri Lanka, Bali, Barbados and Los Angeles. Mr. Jacobs attended Westminster Hotel School in London, studied French Civilization at La Sorbonne in Paris and Italian language and culture in Florence. He speaks 5 languages.
Mr. Newman has been the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of PathGuard, Inc. (or its predecessors), a company offering hardware-based cybersecurity, since 2015. Mr. Newman also serves on the Board of Directors of Steiner Leisure Limited, a worldwide provider of spa services. From 2011 until December 2018, Mr. Newman served as Chairman of Promontory Financial Group China Ltd., an advisory group for financial institutions and corporations in China. From 2005 to 2010, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shenzhen Development Bank, a national bank in China. Prior to 2005, Mr. Newman served as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Bankers Trust and Chief Financial Officer of Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank. Mr. Newman served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury from 1994 to 1995 and as Under Secretary of Domestic Finance from 1993 to 1994. He has authored two books and several articles on economic matters, published in the U.S., mainland China, and Hong Kong. Mr. Newman has served as a director for major public companies in the U.S., United Kingdom, and China, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall, and is currently on the Board of Directors of ParkerVision, Inc. He earned his BA, magna cum laude in economics, at Harvard.
Leo Austin will serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Austin has served as a Senior Advisor at The China Center for Economics & Business, The Conference Board, a business think-tank, since January 2018. Mr. Austin has spent 22 years in mainland China where he completed 12 major China investment and restructuring transactions. During his time in China, Mr. Austin has worked on acquiring most of the breweries in West China for Carlsberg and the development of two of China’s vineyards, Moët Hennessy’s Ningxia Chandon and Yunnan’s Ao Yun. From 2014 to 17, Mr. Austin was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Jinliufu, China’s leading mainstream spirits brand. He was also Vice President of the holding company Vats, China’s largest non-state wine and spirits group, where he restructured the wine business, negotiated a JV with Constellation Brands and managed distilleries across China. Prior to Vats, Mr. Austin spent 13 years as a Partner with Augus Partners Inc, a Beijing-based corporate advisory boutique, where he advised multinationals including LVMH and Carlsberg as well as domestic Chinese groups such as Goldwind. From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Austin was a Principal with Incubasia Inc, a Hong Kong-based technology venture capital fund. He began his China career in 1996 as a product and sales manager with Bass Brewers at their Jilin joint-venture. Before coming to China, Mr. Austin was an Associate Consultant with LEK Consulting in London. He previously served on the Board of Directors for eLong Inc, Rockley Cayman Ltd and the China Ming Yang Wind Power Group. Mr. Austin holds a B.A. and M.A. from Brasenose College, Oxford University. Mr. Austin was selected to serve on our board of directors due to his experience with foreign political-economies, corporate strategies and developments, organizational behavior, consumer markets and trade channels.