By Siddharth Cavale
(Reuters) - Tiffany & Co <TIF.N> named a former Bulgari SpA executive to its top job, the second time the iconic New York jewelry retailer has tapped the Italian luxury house for senior hires this year.
Tiffany, which has been struggling to turn around sales amid faltering demand for its high-end jewelry, named Alessandro Bogliolo chief executive, months after it added ex-Bulgari CEO Francesco Trapani to its board.
A veteran luxury industry executive who has spent 16 years at Bulgari - now owned by French multinational LVMH <LVMH.PA> - Bogliolo most recently served as the chief executive of apparel and accessories company Diesel SpA.
At Diesel, Bogliolo led a turnaround strategy aimed at reclaiming the company's luxury image, by scaling back sales to wholesale customers and improving customer service.
He succeeds Frederic Cumenal, who stepped down in February after nearly two years with Tiffany, during which its sales declined and its stock dropped 9 percent.
After Cumenal's exit, hedge fund Jana Partners revealed a stake in Tiffany and struck a surprise deal to add three directors to its board, including Trapani, who was also named to the company's CEO search committee.
"We believe the new leadership will be key in accelerating the pace of product newness and innovation, as well as efforts to improve the in-store experience and drive stronger conversion amidst a challenged traffic backdrop," Jefferies & Co analyst Randal Konik said in a note.
Tiffany's shares were up 2 percent at $94.26 on Thursday.
Bogliolo's resume also includes stints as COO of beauty products chain Sephora and as an executive at consulting firm Bain & Co. Sephora is also owned by LVMH.
He is expected to take over as Tiffany's CEO and join the board by Oct. 2.
Bogliolo's appointment comes at a time Tiffany is struggling to attract young shoppers who are either spending less on accessories or are turning to chic brands such as Pandora A/S and Alex and Ani.
Tiffany has responded by launching gold and silver fashion jewelry to lure millennials to its stores.
In January, the company hired former Coach Inc <COH.N> creative director Reed Krakoff as its first chief artistic officer and named pop star Lady Gaga as the face of its fashion jewelry collection, Tiffany Hardware.
Still, Tiffany reported a surprise drop in first-quarter comparable sales in May, underscoring its struggles with weak demand at home and a strong dollar that has crimped spending by tourists.
(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Gayathree Ganesan; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)