Before its first Super Bowl ad aired Sunday, Tiffany & Co. made another major announcement : its CEO Frederic Cumenal has stepped down, effective immediately.
Former CEO Michael Kowalski, who led the retailer for 16 years before retiring in March 2015, will take his place as interim CEO while the jeweler searches for a permanent replacement. Kowalski also will continue as chairman of Tiffany’s board of directors.
20170206 Mike KowalskiMichael Kowalski
News of Cumenal’s seemingly sudden and immediate departure follows a long period of flat or declining sales for the retailer, including disappointing back-to-back holiday seasons.
While the retailer is not scheduled to release its fourth quarter and full-year 2016 fiscal year results until March 17, Tiffany reported last month that in the Americas, November-December comps and total sales were down 4 percent year-over-year. It blamed its faltering in sales in part on the decline in foot traffic at its Fifth Avenue flagship caused by the increased security at Trump Tower.