Tiffany CEO Frederic Cumenal leaves post abruptly

  • After less than two years on the job
  • Laud, praise, thanks and good wishes for Cumenal
  • Michael Kowalski taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

( — New York, February 06, 2017 — Frederic Cumenal, chief executive of Tiffany, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Tiffany & Co. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, February 06, 2017, Frederic Cumenal has already left the post as Chief Executive Officer at the jewelry stores company in a surprising move after less than two years on the job, effective February 05, 2017.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Tiffany will undertake a search for a successor.

Cumenal’s duties are taken over in the interim by Michael J. Kowalski, currently Chairman of the Board of Directors and previous CEO at Tiffany & Co.

“Accelerating execution of those strategies is necessary”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Michael J. Kowalski said in a fairly blunt statement: “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.”

“Enhancing the customer experience”

Kowalski continued: “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.”

“Pace of their execution are key to driving shareholder value”

Kowalski further said: “We believe these initiatives and the pace of their execution are key to driving shareholder value. Tiffany is an iconic brand with a family of talented and committed employees to match, and I look forward to supporting both during the transition.”

“Stepped down”

Tiffany said: “On February 5, 2017, Frederic Cumenal, the principal executive officer of Tiffany & Co. …, stepped down from his position as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective immediately.”

Precise information about the future plans of Cumenal was not immediately available.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Tiffany & Co. since December 2014.

On the job as CEO since 2015

Cumenal joined Tiffany in March 2011 as Executive Vice President, with responsibility for the Asia-Pacific, Japan, Europe and Emerging Markets Regions.

In 2012, Cumenal’s responsibilities were expanded to all regions.

In September 2013, Cumenal was appointed as President, with responsibility for sales and distribution of Tiffany & Co. products globally, Product and Store Design, Merchandising and Marketing functions.

Cumenal was named Chief Executive Officer effective April 1, 2015 and has served on the Tiffany & Co. Board of Directors since 2013.

For 15 years prior to joining Tiffany, Cumenal held senior leadership positions in LVMH Group’s wine and spirits businesses, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Moët & Chandon, S.A.

Previously, Cumenal served as Chief Executive Officer of Domaine Chandon, and was Managing Director of Moët Hennessy Europe.

Read the full story in the report 07.2017 ($).