News Mar 02, 2017 09:19 AM EST

Tiffany & Co. CEO steps down, new directors appointed to accelerate business strategies

By Staff Reporter

Jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co.'s chief executive officer, Frederic Cumenal, has stepped down on Feb. 5 with Michael J. Kowalski to act as interim CEO. The decision came after the luxury brand reported disappointing financial results while acknowledging Cumenal's contribution.

Tiffany & Co.'s Board of Directors has started efforts to search for a new CEO and will be assisted by a leading executive search firm to achieve its recruiting endeavors.

Kowalski, acting as interim CEO while continuing as Tiffany & Co. chairman, expressed his gratitude towards Cumenal in enhancing the management team alongside taking necessary steps to position the company for success in the long term. He noted Cumenal did all of those at a time of continuing challenges in the global luxury market.

Kowalski believed that accelerating Tiffany & Co. business strategies is important to compete in the industry 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," he stated.

Cumenal, on the other hand, took pride in Tiffany's accomplishment and thanked the employees he has worked with all over the world. He displayed confidence in reaffirming Tiffany's strategic direction and hoped for its many exciting opportunities that will come. Meanwhile, just weeks after the Tiffany & Co. CEO stepped down, the company announced on Feb. 21 the appointment of three new independent directors to its Board.

Tiffany & Co. will have Roger Farah, James Lillie and Trapani on its Board no later than March 6. The company also said it will limit waivers under the retirement age provisions. As such, one current director will not stand for reelection at this year's Annual Meeting of Stockholders and two current directors will not stand for reelection in the next year. Kowalski said the three new directors are all accomplished executives with proven track records that will benefit Tiffany & Co. as it focuses on accelerating its business strategies.

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