Tiffany & Co CEO steps down amid disappointing financial results

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12:  A flag for a Tiffany & Co. store hangs along Wall Street in Manhattan on January 12, 2015 in New York City. Shares in the luxury jewelry chain fell on news of weaker than expected holiday sales. Sales in November and December dropped 1 percent to $1.02 billion worldwide.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Tiffany & Co chief executive officer Frederic Cumenal has stepped down after less than two years at the helm.

The board of directors has commenced a search to recruit a successor in which it will be assisted by a leading executive search firm. During this process, Michael J. Kowalski, chairman of the board of directors and previous CEO of Tiffany (1999-2015), will serve as interim CEO while continuing as chairman.

No reason has been given for Cumenal’s resignation, but the statement announcing his decision made it clear that the board felt change was needed.

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Kowalski commented: “The Board is committed to our current core business strategies, but has been disappointed by recent financial results. The Board believes that accelerating execution of those strategies is necessary to compete more effectively in today’s global luxury market and improve performance. As such, we remain focused on enhancing the customer experience, increasing the rate of new product introductions and innovation, maximizing marketing effectiveness, optimizing the store network, and improving our business operations and processes, all while efficiently managing our capital and costs.”

The company believes these initiatives and the pace of their execution are key to driving shareholder value.

“At a time of continuing challenges in the global luxury market, Frederic has enhanced the management team and taken important steps to position Tiffany for success in the long term. We wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Kowalski added.

Cumenal’s resignation comes on the heels of Tiffany’s much-talked-about design director, Francesca Amfitheatrof, leaving in January. Reed Krakoff has now taken on the role of chief artistic officer.

 

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