Pandora CEO Anders Colding Friis will leave the company at the end of the month. His resignation comes less than a week after the company cut its earnings forecast for the year and announced layoffs.
Copenhagen, Denmark—Pandora CEO Anders Colding Friis is out after less than four years at the helm of the Danish bead and jewelry maker, which is grappling with lagging charm sales and rising production costs.

The announcement of his resignation came as the company reported weaker-than-expected results for the second quarter and just a few days after it cut its forecast for the year and announced plans to lay off a small percentage of its workforce, mainly in Thailand.

Friis joined the company in 2015 and was the one who outlined its four-year plan at Capital Markets Day in January, a plan that focuses on cutting production time to bring more new product to market quicker. He said the company’s assortments had become “too repetitive.”

On Thursday, the company said it remains “fully committed to this strategy” but will apparently do so with new leadership.

In addition to a new CEO, Pandora indicated that more changes could be on the way, as it looks to strengthen its management team and “reinforce” its board of directors with new appointees who have relevant retail experience.

Friis’ last day will be Aug. 31. On Sept. 1, the former CEO of The Body Shop, Jeremy Schwartz, will join Pandora as chief operating officer. He will run the company together with Chief Financial Officer Anders Boyers until a new CEO is found.

Pandora said Thursday that total second quarter sales were up 4 percent in local currency year-over-year to DKK 4.82 billion ($749.3 million) but like-for-like sales slipped 1 percent. In the United States, like-for-like sales were up 3 percent in the quarter.

EBITDA margin was 31.1 percent, compared with 33.4 percent in the second quarter 2017.

The Danish jewelry company saw sales growth from Pandora-owned stores (up 43 percent in local currency) and its online store (up 54 percent) but a reduction in orders from retailers that carry its merchandise hurt its overall performance.

Wholesale sales were down 23 percent year-over-year, impacted by both slower sales and stores reducing their Pandora inventory.

In addition, Pandora said while sales of other jewelry grew in the quarter, the new charms it introduced are “not fueling the re-ignition of charms revenue as anticipated.”

“Performance in other points of sale (wholesale) is challenged as the channel is mainly dependent on charms and does not distribute new concepts like Pandora Shine,” the company noted, referring to the all-gold line introduced earlier this year.

Pandora said it now plans to open about net 250 concept stores this year, up from 200. Two-thirds of those (167) will be Pandora-owned stores.

One-quarter (63) of the 250 net new concept stores will open in the America market.

|Subscribe >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.