Tiffany’s longstanding CEO to retire next year

July 21, 2014, 2:04 PM UTC
Grand Opening Of Crystals At CityCenter
Photograph by Ethan Miller—Getty Images

Tiffany & Co.’s long-tenured CEO Michael Kowalski will retire next year, but will continue to serve on the jewelry company’s board, the luxury retailer said.

Kowalski, 62 years old, joined Tiffany (TIF) in 1983 and became CEO in 1999. He served as chairman of the company’s board since 2003. He will remain on Tiffany’s board after he retires effective March 31, 2015.

Tiffany named President Frederic Cumenal, 54 years old, to serve as the company’s next chief executive. Cumenal joined Tiffany in 2011, after previously holding leadership positions in luxury chain LVMH Group’s wine and spirits businesses.

Net sales at Tiffany have surged under Kowalski’s leadership, soaring to more than $4 billion in fiscal 2013 from around $560 million in 1999 when he became CEO. In recent years, the company has reported consistent sales growth, although the company’s full-year profit declined in the latest year as a result of a roughly $450 million payment to Swatch after an arbitration court ruling in a case involving a contract dispute.

The good times are expected to continue. The jewelry company expects worldwide net sales for the current fiscal year ended January 31 to climb in the high-single-digits, with all regions expected to report growth. Tiffany is also adding 13 more company-operated stores, partly offset by four existing store closures.