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CAPTAIN AMERICA: PPR is setting up its springboard to expansion across the pond, and has officially named Laurent Claquin its new head of PPR Americas, WWD has learned. This confirms a report on June 18. To be based in New York City and starting in early November, Claquin will not directly manage operations, but build an office to support PPR’s luxury and sport/lifestyle brands, develop synergies, optimize efficiencies and raise the profile of the French company in an important sphere of influence. Functions are to include corporate communications, corporate human resources, taxation, real estate, legal affairs, sustainability, IT and security. Claquin, 40, is currently PPR’s senior vice president of corporate social responsibility, and also chief of staff. He continues to report to Francois-Henri Pinault, PPR’s chairman and chief executive.