Jean-Pierre Hainard

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Jean-Pierre Hainard was an important figure in watchmaking in the 1960s and 1970s, notably as president of Zénith and Fabriques d'Assortiments Réunies.

Jean-Pierre Hainard was born on June 24, 1914 and spent his youth in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He studied banking and joined the Cantonal administration in Neuchâtel with State Councilor Edgar Renaud.

Hainard was appointed to lead the branch of watchmaker Zenith in Besançon France in 1954 following the death the previous year of Henri Perrenoud. He served on the Chambre de Commerce Suisse in France, soon becoming secretary. He was called to a more important job just a few years later: President Edgar Bichsel died suddenly of a stroke in December 1956, and Hainard was called on to take up leadership of the entire Zenith factory the following year. This followed the death of technical director Charles Ziegler and the collapse of the Zenith-Universal-Martel cooperation, which was lead by Universal president Raoul Perret. Hainard became chief executive officer of Zenith in January 1959, guiding the firm through its acquisition of the Martel factory in May 1960.

In 1962 Hainard was called on to become commercial director of Fabriques d'Assortements Réunies, the holding company that manufactured assortiments for most Swiss brands. This move placed Hainard on the board of many producers of watch components. Hainard was removed from the management of Martel in November and of Zenith at its general meeting in December 1963.

Hainard was also involved in many other organizations, including UBAH and the Employers' Association of the district of Le Locle. He joined the Swiss Chamber of Watchmaking in 1958 and was a member of the central committee from 1958 to 1962. Among the boards he joined were Renata in Itingen, Les Pâquerettes in Brenets, Fils de John Perret in Pont-de-Martel, Baume SA in Breuleux, and Huguenin Médailleurs in Le Locle.

Jean-Pierre Hainard died on March 6, 1975 at the age of 61.