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Tiffany CEO Cumenal in Shock Departure

Feb 6, 2017 3:24 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Tiffany & Co.’s chief executive officer Frederic Cumenal has stepped down with immediate effect.

Chairman and former CEO Michael Kowalski will take over from Cumenal as interim CEO, according to a statement on Sunday. Cumenal (pictured) has been in the role since April 2015, after having previously been the company’s president.

Tiffany’s sales in the Americas during the holiday months of November and December fell 4 percent. This followed the retailer reporting its first quarterly revenue growth in two years, after net sales rose 1 percent in the three months to October 31 as an improvement in fashion jewelry was partly offset by softness in other product categories.

“The board is committed to our current core business strategies, but has been disappointed by recent financial results,” Kowalski said. “The board believes that accelerating execution of those strategies is necessary to compete more effectively in today's global luxury market and improve performance.”

Cumenal’s abrupt departure follows a string of senior appointments that saw Reed Krakoff named chief artistic officer last month, replacing Francesca Amfitheatrof, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Additionally, Marc Erceg replaced Ralph Nicoletti as chief financial officer in October.

Holiday sales in the Americas had declined partly because of protests outside New York’s Trump Tower that restricted access to the flagship Tiffany store on Fifth Avenue. While the CEO is leaving before the company announces its full-year results on March 17, a Tiffany statement reaffirmed the retailer’s guidance for fiscal year 2016.

Kowalski added the company remains focused on increasing the rate of new product introductions and innovation, optimizing the store network and improving its business operations and processes, all while efficiently managing capital and costs.

Image: Martin Crook
Tags: chief artistic officer, fifth avenue, Francesca Amfitheatrof, Frederic Cumenal, luxury, Marc Erceg, new york, ralph nicoletti, Rapaport News, Reed Krakoff, Super Bowl, Tiffany, Tiffany & CO., Trump Tower
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