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Tiffany CEO Steps Down

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The board was “disappointed” by financial results.

Frederic Cumenal has stepped down as CEO of Tiffany & Co., effective immediately.INSTORE FredericCumenal

The company (NYSE: TIF) said in a press release that its board of directors has begun a search for a replacement. In the meantime,  Michael J. Kowalski, chairman of the board and previous CEO of Tiffany, will serve as interim CEO while continuing as chairman.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to thank Frederic Cumenal for his contributions to Tiffany,” Kowalski said in the release. “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.”

He added: “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.”

Cumenal said: “I am proud of what we have accomplished at Tiffany and would like to thank the management team and our many talented employees around the world with whom I have had the pleasure to work. I have great confidence in Tiffany’s brand, strategic direction and people, and I believe the Company will have many exciting opportunities in the future.”

In January, Tiffany reported that its worldwide comparable store sales for the holiday period were down 2 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

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Worldwide net sales for the two months ended Dec. 31 were $966 million, the company said. That represented a slight increase from $961 million a year earlier, with sales growth in Asia-Pacific and Japan largely offset by lower sales in the Americas and Europe.

In the Americas, both total sales of $483 million and comparable store sales were 4 below below the prior year. A decline in U.S. sales was “exacerbated by a 14% decline at the Company’s Flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, which we attribute at least partly to post-election traffic disruptions,” the company said.

Read more at BusinessWire

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