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Monday, December 19, 2011

Pandora Names New CEO


Silver jewelry company Pandora has appointed retail veteran Björn Gulden as its new CEO, effective March 1.

Gulden , 46, is currently managing director of the Deichmann Group and president and CEO of its wholly owned retail chains Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoes in the U.S. Prior to those positions, Gulden was senior VP of apparel and accessories at Adidas and was part of the management group that took Adidas public in 1995. The Swiss native and Norwegian citizen also played professional soccer in Norway and Germany before a serious injury ended his career.

Gulden replaces Mikkel Vendelin Olesen, who resigned suddenly in early August due to lower-than-expected growth, which the company blamed on commodity price increases and “inadequate” execution.

The Danish company with manufacturing facilities in Thailand is known for its widely popular charm jewelry. The company is also known in the jewelry and financial industries for its extraordinary sales growth and its $2.1 billion IPO, launched in October 2010.

However, in early August, the company released its second quarter financial report two weeks early with less than expected growth as well as declines in major markets. It also drastically downgraded its sales and profits targets for 2011 and reported a drastic decline in July revenues. The result was that its stock fell about 70 percent in a single day.

Marcello Bottoli, who was named interim CEO during the August turmoil, will continue in that position until Gulden arrives and will report Pandora´s 2011 annual results on Feb. 21, 2012.

Pandora also announced that as of March 2012, Marcello will become deputy chairman of its board of directors in order to take advantage of what has has learned as interim CEO. Current deputy chairman, Torben Ballegaard Sørensen, will continue as member of the board.

“Björn is an outstanding executive who has impressed me with his knowledge and hands-on experience from many years in the retail and wholesale business around the world,” said Allan Leighton, Pandora chairman.

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