FINANCE

Tiffany names healthcare exec new CFO; Fernandez to retire

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Ralph Nicoletti, executive VP and CFO of healthcare services and insurance provider Cigna, will become the next executive VP and CFO of Tiffany & Co. His appointment to those offices will become effective on April 2, 2014.

James N. Fernandez, current COO and CFO of Tiffany, will retire in July 2014. Fernandez, a 30-year veteran of Tiffany, has been COO since 2011 and has been CFO since November 2013 and also served as CFO from 1989 to 2011. Upon his retirement, the title of COO will be eliminated and, instead, Tiffany’s senior VP of global operations and customer service and the senior VP of manufacturing, diamonds and gemstones will report directly to Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO.

Nicoletti, 56, will be based in New York and responsible for the company’s worldwide financial functions and information technology. He will report to Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO. Prior to his role with Cigna, he was executive VP and CFO at Alberto Culver and held various financial management positions at Kraft Foods.

“We have made key management additions to our organization in recent years,” said Kowalski. “Our first-class finance and IT functions and Ralph’s leadership experience and global perspective will be valuable to Tiffany’s continued worldwide expansion.”

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News

Tiffany taps healthcare exec as new CFO

BY CSA STAFF

Tiffany & Co. has appointed Ralph Nicoletti as its next EVP and CFO, effective April 2. He steps into the CFO role following current chief operating officer and CFO James N. Fernandez’s plans to retire in July.

Nicoletti will be based in New York and responsible for the company’s worldwide financial functions and information technology. He will report to chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski

Nicoletti joins Tiffany from global health services and insurance company CIGNA, where he served as EVP and CFO since June 2011. Prior to that, he served as EVP and CFO of Alberto-Culver in Chicago, a major manufacturer and marketer of personal care and household brands acquired by Unilever Group.

Nicoletti’s career began in 1979 with General Foods, which was acquired by Altria Corp. and later combined with Kraft Foods, where he held a number of accounting, finance and auditing roles of increasing responsibility. He has a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Pace University.

“We have made key management additions to our organization in recent years,” said Kowalski. “Our first-class finance and IT functions and Ralph’s leadership experience and global perspective will be valuable to Tiffany’s continued worldwide expansion.”

Fernandez has been CFO since the resignation of the previous CFO last November and had also served as CFO from 1989 to 2011. A 30-year veteran of Tiffany, Fernandez has been Tiffany’s chief operating officer since 2011. Upon his retirement, the title of chief operating officer will be eliminated and, instead, Tiffany’s SVP of global operations and customer service and the SVP of manufacturing, diamonds and gemstones will report directly to Kowalski.

“Jim Fernandez has made enormous contributions to Tiffany’s financial success and global expansion over the past three decades,” added Kowalski. “In addition to his extraordinary leadership of the financial and information technology organizations at Tiffany, Jim also played a critical role in building a world-class distribution, manufacturing, and diamond-sourcing infrastructure. I, along with all my Tiffany colleagues, will be forever grateful for Jim’s immense contributions to the company’s success, his always wise counsel and his enduring friendship.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Sam’s Club, Amazon top retail customer experience rankings

BY Dan Berthiaume

Waban, Mass. — Sam’s Club and Amazon.com deliver the best customer experience in the retail industry, according to the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers. Sam’s Club and Amazon.com continue their reign as the highest-rated retailers for the third straight year, each earning an "excellent" rating.

Sam’s Club narrowly beat out Amazon.com for the top spot, receiving an 81% rating and an overall rank of eighth out of 268 companies across 19 industries. With ratings of 79% each, Costco, PetSmart, Ace Hardware, and BJ’s Wholesale Club also earned high marks from customers. At the other end of the spectrum, RadioShack and Foot Locker tied for last place among 45 retailers. This is the fourth straight year that RadioShack has been at the bottom of the industry.

Here are some additional findings from the retail industry:

• The top 10 retailers in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings are Sam’s Club (81%); Amazon.com (80%); Costco (79%); PetSmart (79%); Ace Hardware (79%); BJ’s Wholesale Club (79%); Lowe’s (78%); Dollar Tree (78%); Barnes & Noble (77%); and Home Depot (77%).

• The bottom 10 retailers are Wal-Mart (69%); Macy’s (68%); Toys “R” Us (68%); Sears (67%); Kmart (67%); Apple Store (67%); GameStop (66%); Gap (64%); Foot Locker (62%); and Radio Shack (60%).

• Lowe’s (+6 points); T.J. Maxx (+6 points); Best Buy (+6 points); and the Apple Store (+5 points) improved the most between 2013 and 2014.

• Sears (-7 points); Nordstrom (-5 points); Staples (-5 points); Office Depot (-5 points); Dollar General (-5 points); Toys “R” Us (-5 points); Kmart (-5 points); and GameStop (-5 points) declined the most between 2013 and 2014.

• The retail industry averaged a 73% rating in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings and tied for third place out of 19 industries. Retail was one of only four industries to decline in the ratings since last year, decreasing its average by 1.0 percentage point.

"Sam’s Club and Amazon.com continue to set the standard in retail customer experience," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.

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