Current CEO Michael Kowalski also expects to relinquish chair role
In a deal with activist investor Jana Partners LLC, Tiffany & Co. has added three new independent board directors, all of whom head or have headed companies related to the jewelry industry.
Jana Partners, together with former Bulgari CEO Francesco Trapani, owns 5.1 percent of the company.
The new directors are Trapani, Roger N. Farah, and James Lillie.
Trapani, 59, headed Bulgari from 1984 to 2011. From 2011 to 2014, he was chairman and CEO of the LVMH watches and jewelry division, following LVMH’s acquisition of Bulgari.
Trapani will join the company’s search for a new CEO.
Farah, 64, has served as the co-CEO of Tory Burch since September 2014. He was previously president and chief operating officer of Ralph Lauren Corp. from 2000 to 2013 and the brand’s executive vice chairman from November 2013 to May 2014.
Lillie, 55, is the former CEO at Jarden Corp., which in 2015 acquired class ring manufacturer Jostens. He served as Jarden’s chief operating officer from 2003 and 2011, and headed the company from 2011 to 2016, when he stepped down following Jarden’s acquisition by Newell Brands.
“We are excited to be adding such distinguished directors to our board as part of our ongoing process to refresh the board, and we are pleased to have worked cooperatively with Jana Partners to have met our objective,” said Michael J. Kowalski, Tiffany’s chairman and interim CEO, in a statement.
Kowalski also said that, following the appointment of a new CEO, he looks forward to passing on his chairman duties.
Earlier this month, Tiffany CEO Frederic Cumenal resigned after less than two years in the job.
Jana was founded in 2001 by investor Barry Rosenstein.