Tiffany & Co. will increase its board of directors from 10 to 13 members in an agreement with JANA Partners LLC. The most familiar name within the jewelry trade is Francesco Trapani, the former CEO of the Italian jewelry house, Bulgari. The other new members were also associated with high profile companies: Roger Farah, co-CEO of the fashion brand, Tory Burch, and James Lillie, the former CEO of the former consumer products conglomerate, Jarden Corp.
Francesco Trapani along with Carla Bruni
In addition, Michael J. Kowalski, plans to step down as board chairman, Tiffany said in a statement Tuesday.
JANA Partners, an investment management firm led by Barry Rosenstein, and Trapani own approximately 5.1 percent of Tiffany’s outstanding shares, Tiffany said.
The new board members will be in place no later than March 6. Trapani will join the board’s nominating and corporate governance committees and the search committee formed by Tiffany’s board of directors to oversee its search for a new CEO to replace Frederic Cumenal who resigned February 5.
“We are pleased to have worked cooperatively with JANA Partners to have met our objective,” said Kowalski, who also serves as Tiffany’s interim CEO until a replacement is found. “These three new directors are all accomplished executives with a broad range of relevant experience and skills that will benefit all shareholders as we focus on accelerating the execution of our core business strategies. We also believe the strength of our board will be an asset in our ongoing CEO search process.”
Kowalski adds, “I look forward to completing that process and welcoming our new CEO to our board and, after an appropriate period, I anticipate being able to relinquish my responsibilities as chairman to a successor.”
“We are very pleased to have worked constructively with Tiffany & Co. to appoint Roger, James and Francesco to the board,” Rosenstein said. “Their fresh perspective and unique insight will be invaluable as the board keeps working to improve performance and create shareholder value.”