Tiffany CEO Resigns After Sales Drop

NEW YORK — Tiffany’s top executive has resigned in the wake of lousy financial results.

CEO Frederic Cumenal will be temporarily replaced by board chairman and former CEO Michael Kowalski as the company looks for a successor.

Kowalski said in a news release Sunday that Tiffany has been “disappointed by recent financial results.”

Cumenal’s resignation comes weeks after the company reported that sales at its iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York City dropped 14% during the holiday season, compared to a year ago.

At the time, Tiffany said the drop was due “partly to post-election traffic disruptions.” The store sits next to Trump Tower, the longtime residence for President Trump and his family.

Although Trump has moved into the White House since his inauguration last month, his wife and son have stayed in New York. Security at Trump Tower has been beefed up since the election.

The disruption at the Fifth Avenue location is a problem for Tiffany, since the flagship store accounts for about 10% of its overall sales.

In the holiday period, the company’s overall sales were up only slightly from 2015. Strong demand from Japan and China wasn’t enough to offset the weakness in the U.S. and sluggish sales in Europe.

Cumenal also said last month that he did not expect “any significant improvement in 2017,” due to broader economic challenges facing the company.

Tiffany says it expects to report its full 2016 fiscal year results on March 17.