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Tiffany CEO in shock resignation

Tiffany and Co JapanTiffany CEO Frederic Cumenal has stepped down, effective immediately.

Cumenal assumed the role just last April after a long transition to replace previous CEO Michael Kowalski, who is now chairman, Kowalski will take back the role while a search gets underway for a permanent replacement.

The iconic US jewellery retailer is facing a raft of challenges. Weak holiday sales impacted on its share price, its top designer departed three weeks ago and turnover in its flagship store in Manhattan has been impacted by increased security procedures for the neighbouring Trump Tower.

Abroad, tourist spending has slumped and the high US dollar value has impacted on sales revenues in its native currency.

In a statement, Tiffany was complimentary about Cumenal.

“On behalf of the entire board…, I would like to thank Frederic Cumenal for his contributions to Tiffany,”Kowalski said. “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 said the board was disappointed by recent financial results, but remained committed to its current core business strategies.

“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, maximising marketing effectiveness, optimising the store network, and improving our business operations and processes, all while efficiently managing our capital and costs.

“We believe these initiatives and the pace of their execution are key to driving shareholder value,” he said.

Cumenal said he had great confidence in Tiffany’s brand, strategic direction and people. “I believe the company will have many exciting opportunities in the future.”

This story first appeared on sister site, Inside Retail Asia.

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