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Tiffany shares fell out of fashion on Monday after its chief executive abruptly exited after leaving the upscale jeweler’s board “disappointed by recent financial results”.
Frederic Cumenal, who had led the New York-based group since April 2015, will be replaced with immediate effect by board chairman and former CEO Michael Kowalski. Mr Kowalski will serve as interim chief as the group seeks a permanent replacement.
The news, which was disclosed on Sunday not long before the kick off of the Super Bowl that featured a Tiffany ad featuring Lady Gaga prominently at halftime, sent shares sliding by as much by 7 per cent in pre-market trading. Tiffany’s shares have advanced by more than 25 per cent over the past 12 months as of Friday’s close of trading.
Tiffany’s board has been “disappointed by recent financial results” and “believes that accelerating execution of those strategies is necessary to compete more effectively in today’s global luxury market and improve performance,” Tiffany said in a statement that credited Mr Cumenal with taking ” important steps to position Tiffany for success in the long term”.
Mr Cumenal’s departure comes after a disappointing holiday season for the company that is famous for its Tiffany blue boxes. Like-for-like sales in the two months to the end of December were down by 2 per cent from the previous year.
For the fourth quarter as a whole, Wall Street analysts reckon Tiffany’s like-for-like sales fell by 1.1 per cent, which would be the fifth-straight quarterly decline, according to company filings.
Full fourth quarter results will be released on March 17.