22 RETAILER HALL OF FAME 2017 E verybody has a different path that leads them into the jewelry industry. For some, it’s essentially a birthright. Jewelers can have generations before them in the business as bench jewelers or retail store owners. Others take a less direct, and seemingly more random, route into the industry, as was the case for Birks Group Inc. President and CEO Jean-Christophe Bédos. Bédos, who holds degrees from the Nottingham Trent University in the UK, France’s Toulouse Business School, and London Business School, was finishing his law degree at the Université Paris 1 Pan- théon-Sorbonne in Paris when he got his first job in jewelry. He needed to secure a business internship before graduating and found what he was looking for at Cartier, working for the iconic jewelry house during the morning while attending law school in the afternoon. “My family was not in the jewelry industry,” Bédos explains. “Of course, I knew Cartier—the prestige of the company and the brand. MAJORS INDUCTEE A Sea Change The luxury industry veteran brought fresh ideas across the Atlantic when he left Boucheron for Birks. BY MICHELLE GRAFF JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BÉDOS Jean-Christophe Bédos is the president and CEO of Birks Group Inc.