Tempus Leaders List: Meet the changemakers and innovators transforming the luxury world for the better
Tempus honours the innovators and changemakers making an impact in their respective luxury spaces and beyond
Luxury has always been a space for innovation but, in recent times, there is a growing sense that, with great wealth, there is an equally great opportunity to become leaders, take charge and inspire true and lasting change. Whether that is pushing the boundaries of technology to put our health decisions in our own hands, by going back to grass roots to make a sustainable impact, or by demonstrating top-down leadership that inspires success and protects heritage craftsmanship while investing in new ideas.
These leaders and changemakers make an impact that reaches beyond their immediate interests, and help lead the way in bringing the most exciting ideas and solutions to wider audiences.
Here, we celebrate some of the most inspiring leaders working across different areas, through influence, sustainability, community and technology. Read on to discover 12 of the world’s most exciting changemakers on Tempus’s inaugural Leaders List…
In an era where actions speak louder than words, true leaders and visionaries can shape narratives and foster a culture of progress. Through their endeavours, they not only spearhead transformation but invigorate others to become architects of meaningful change, building a landscape that is ripe for innovation
Leena Nair (pictured above) has been Global CEO of Chanel since 2021 and is known as one of the world’s most purpose-driven leaders. The pioneering businesswoman was considered an outsider in the fashion world but, for Chanel – which employs 32,000 people globally – her people-focused leadership style was worth betting on. “Nair has built a global reputation for progressive and human-centred leadership, delivering significant business impact,” Chanel wrote about her appointment. In 2022 the brand reported revenues of $17bn (£13.4bn); a 17% increase year on year.
Before joining Chanel, Leena was Unilever’s first female, first Asian and youngest-ever CHRO, cementing Unilever’s socially conscious reputation by championing robust inclusive and diverse recruitment as well as ground-breaking pledges to pay living wage across the supply chain and provide training for 10million young people by 2030. “Being the first woman in every single job I have done means I get to see just what it means to be in a job that feels built for someone else,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in 2021. “My experiences have made me incredibly conscious of wanting the workplace to work for everyone.”
The founder and CEO of the world’s largest luxury goods company, LVMH, Bernard Arnault’s empire includes 75 high-end brands including Dior, Sephora and Tiffany & Co (acquired in 2021 for a record-breaking $15.8bn). With a personal net worth of $195.1bn (£157.7bn), Bernard is no stranger to the finer things. Alongside his private island, superyacht and jets, his art collection includes masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso. But it’s Bernard’s leadership style that marks his enduring influence. At LVMH, he emphasises creativity and artistry – investing in the heritage and personality of each individual brand. “I see myself as an ambassador of French heritage and French culture. What we create is emblematic,” he said.
He also believes that a family business approach allows for a more impactful culture and the freedom to think long-term. Bernard’s five children – Delphine, Antoine, Alexandre, Frédéric and Jean – are all involved with LVMH. “I’m not that interested in the numbers of the next six months,” he said. “What I am interested in is that the desire for the brand will be the same in 10 years as it is today.”
When club impresario Robin Birley founded the ultra-exclusive 5 Hertford Street in London’s Mayfair in 2012, it was as visionary as the launch of his late father Mark’s iconic Annabel’s. 5H opened to immediate accolade – Mick Jagger, Kate Moss and Daphne Guinness were all spotted in the first week – thanks to its ultra-exclusivity and opulent bonhomie. The ‘king of clubs’ followed his success with Oswald’s, a club dedicated to the glory of wine, in 2018. With a strict no photos policy, restaurant and excellent cellar, it’s no wonder this is where Princess Anne, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece chose to spend the evening before King Charles’s coronation. A true example of following one’s passions, the entrepreneur launched a homeware collection, ‘Birley’ last year, followed in April 2023 by the Birley Bakery – an upscale café in Chelsea.
“Comfort is king,” Robin told How to Spend It of his winning aesthetic, adding that he’s not happy “until things are right. I think people yearn for that. They want something personal”. »
The need for sustainability in all our ventures has never been more important. By weaving a green ethos into the very fabric of their ventures, these leaders and trailblazers are not only preserving the Earth’s finite resources but are sculpting a legacy of mindful opulence for generations to come
Raymond Blanc OBE
While farm to plate cuisine has become ever more popular in today’s environmentally-conscious world, few are so synonymous with sustainable cooking as Raymond Blanc OBE (pictured above). For 20 years, his world-renowned, two-Michelin-starred gourmet experience at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire has stood as the perfect example of the chef’s ethos: locally sourced ingredients – many of which are produced on site thanks to his two-acres of organic vegetable gardens – exceptional seasonal menus, and hands-on learning via his cooking and gardening schools. “My parents taught me from a young age about the importance of growing your own produce,” he told Tempus last year. “The importance of seasonality has always been my philosophy.”
While Le Manoir is led by Raymond’s philosophy, his impact and passion casts a much wider net: he is the president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and his decade-long partnership with Eurostar has seen the brand adopt a seasonable, sustainable menu. Bon appetit!
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
Monaco has long held a reputation as the playground of the rich and famous but, in recent years, it has also become the home of ocean conservation thanks to the efforts and interest of its ruling royal, Prince Albert II. It’s little wonder the Prince would focus his work on the ocean – as he told Tempus in 2019: “Monaco’s destiny has always been linked to the sea.”
Prince Albert founded his eponymous Foundation in 2006 to tackle climate change and combat loss of biodiversity. To date, the foundation has awarded €101m to more than 720 projects globally, including the MedFund and the Global Fund for Coral Reefs. At this year’s Monaco Ocean Week, Albert launched a new private investment fund, ReOcean, designed to protect the seas. “The ocean needs us, the ocean needs you,” he said. “We must learn to make better use of the seas, relying on solid scientific expertise, demonstrating creativity and audacity, and of course involving economic players.”
It was 26 years ago that Chopard’s co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele, first contacted Cannes International Film Festival to redesign its Palme d’Or trophy and become the festival’s official partner. In 2013, Caroline chose the festival to debut the first ever Green Carpet of ethical jewels – certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) – in collaboration with Livia Firth’s Eco-Age sustainability consultancy.
It was a major step in Caroline’s sustainability commitment and, in 2018, Chopard announced it would be the first watch and jewellery maison to use 100% ethical gold in its haute jewellery. Their gold is Fairmined certified throughout the supply chain, with diamonds and coloured gems are RJC-certified. Today, that commitment permeates every part of the company: Chopard watches will use 80% recycled steel in its Lucent Steel alloy, while perfumes ingredients are ethically sourced. “It is a bold commitment, but one that we must pursue if we are to make a difference to the lives of people who make our business possible,” she told Elite Traveler last year.
At the heart of enduring change lies a strong sense of community, a space where ideas flourish through collective action. The leaders and luminaries in this sphere extend their hands to nurture a vibrant ecosystem, bridging gaps and fostering a milieu of solidarity and shared growth
Henry Cookson (pictured above) is one of the most important names in adventure travel, thanks to his extraordinary expeditions combining unique destinations with singular hospitality. Take, for example, Cookson Adventures’ Antarctic expeditions – which offer ice-climbing near historic research stations, ski touring and meeting with leading climate change scientists – or eco-conscious luxury camps allow access to off-limits locations from frozen lakes to Socotra’s dragon-blood tree forests.
The trips are more impressive when considering their impact on scientific research and community funding. Not only are Henry’s trips all carbon neutral, but each conscientiously supports and involves local communities and cultures throughout. Henry’s work has supported tribal communities, rehoming giant tortoises by helicopter – and even discovering a new species of killer whale. “Partnering with the likes of anthropologists and marine biologists grants our clients unique access to areas that are otherwise off-limits, getting them directly involved with the causes closest to their hearts,” says Henry.
Caroline Rush CBE
As CEO of the British Fashion Council, Caroline Rush CBE is a giant in the world of fashion – and the mastermind behind London Fashion Week’s (LFW) emergence as one of the “big four” global fashion events. Her work has long been focused on emerging talent – supporting Christopher Kane and Erdem before they were household names – and she spearheaded the NEWGEN talent scheme. Caroline was among the first to champion a gender neutral fashion week – the digital-only LFW 2020 merged womenswear and menswear, while LFW 2023 will host more gender neutral fashion brand than ever before.
She told the Evening Standard that LFW has “this brilliant halo effect for the whole of the British fashion industry, from textiles to streetwear brands and retailers. There’s a lot on the shoulders of the designers that are showing but the halo effect on all of the young businesses is massive.”
Sir Lewis Hamilton
As a world record-holding Formula 1 champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton’s (pictured top) impact in the sporting world cannot be overstated, but it is his philanthropy and advocacy that truly inspires a generation. He is known for taking a stand on and off the track, whether taking the knee for Black Lives Matter and speaking out against racism – he set up The Hamilton Commission to improve representation of Black people in UK motorsport – or being a staunch ally for LGTBQ* communities around the world.
If that wasn’t enough, Sir Lewis launched his charitable foundation, Mission 44, in 2021 to empower young people from underserved and disadvantaged communities. He donated £20m – 6.7% of his wealth – to social and charitable causes the following year. »
In the modern world, technology is a potent catalyst, driving the boundaries of what’s possible. The leaders and vanguards of this domain harness the power of digital realms and new industries to usher in an epoch of solutions, seamlessly melding tradition and innovation
Since founding 23andMe in 2006, co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki (pictured above) has put health into users’ hands with her pioneering take on home DNA kits. 23andMe has helped more than 13 million people learn more about their genetic heritage and amassed the second-largest genetic database of any company. Today, a handy app features genetic family history, health reports (including genetic indicators of ailments like Parkinson’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes), and more quirky reveals (such as whether you’re likely to enjoy coriander, fear public speaking or hold in tune).
And with a range of scientific and research partnerships planned, Anne’s hope is that 23andMe will help the medical community. She wrote for fortune.com of her hopes that by understanding genetic variants, we can “use that knowledge to guide healthcare and lifestyle decisions to help prevent the disease or find it earlier.”
In 2018, Adrian Hallmark joined heritage luxury car marque Bentley Motors for a second time in his career, when he became Chairman and CEO. He previously held a board role in sales and marketing, redefining the brand with a growth strategy for a new generation of cars. Now, he is putting Bentley at the forefront of technological growth with its first EV with self-driving capability, due to launch in 2025.
While Adrian has already mastered the hybrid space, the fully-electric Bentleys will offer top performance – the first will have up to 1,400bhp and 0-60 miles per hour in 1.5 seconds – combined with cutting edge technology, with fully automated driving to follow. “Somebody once said to me, “Imagining the future is easy, but managing the transition is tough.’,” he told Entrepreneur Magazine. “We really want to create a positive impact, not only in terms of carbon emission, but in terms of values and making the world a little bit better as well.”
Sir Ivan Menezes
When Sir Ivan Menezes chose to step down as chief executive of Diageo this year, he left a legacy of technological innovation and future-thinking for his successor, Debra Crew. Sadly, Sir Ivan died on 7 June, just weeks before he was due to retire. His impact during his 10 years at the helm of the spirits brand was phenomenal, building it to an empire of 200 beverages.
Crucially, Sir Ivan welcomed new technologies in the quest for carbon-neutrality – the brand’s innovation and trials of cutting edge tech has seen them launch ground-breaking carbon neutral whisky distilleries, whether rebuilding ghost distilleries Brora and Port Ellen, or new distilleries in the US and China.