National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Pandora names another new CEO

By Brecken Branstrator

August 28, 2014

Copenhagen, Denmark--Danish jewelry brand Pandora announced Thursday that CEO Allan Leighton will step down in March 2015 and be replaced by tobacco company executive Anders Colding Friis.

The transition will mark the company’s fifth CEO since 2010, when it went public. 

Leighton, who was named CEO in July 2013, will step down next year after reporting the company’s full-year results for 2014. Pandora said that at the next annual general meeting the board of directors will recommend Leighton as new co-deputy chairman of the board.

Friis is the CEO of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of cigars and pipe tobacco, a position he has held since 2006. He also is chairman of Monberg &Thorsen, deputy chairman of IC Companys, board member at Topdanmark and Confederation of Danish Industry.

“In Anders we have found exactly that rare combination of strong leadership skills and thorough business understanding we have been looking for to take the company to the next stage,” Leighton said.

Pandora’s board of directors also said it would name a new chairman of the board, suggesting that Peder Tuborgh, who currently is the CEO of Arla Foods, succeed current chairman Marcello Bottoli, who will be stepping down this year due to other professional commitments.

Bottoli is one in a line of executives to lead the company since 2010. 

First, CEO Mikkel Vendelin Olesen left in August 2011 after a drop in sales and was replaced by Bottoli, who served as interim CEO until March 2012 when Pandora hired Bjørn Gulden. Gulden left after a little more than a year and was replaced by Leighton. 

The company said that the news of Friis’ hire isn’t expected to change its financial outlook for 2014.

Pandora recently announced its second quarter financials, reporting that total U.S. sales rose 3 percent (8 percent in local currency) year-over-year during the period, driven by the expansion of its network and ring sales. The company, however, noted weakness in the Northeast region of the country and announced plans to begin purchasing concept stores owned and operated by retailers, starting with the 27 stores operated by Hannoush Jewelers. 

Meanwhile, total global sales for Pandora hit $455.1 million, an increase of 32 percent (37 percent in local currency).