NEW YORK, United States — Former Barneys New York Chief Executive Daniella Vitale has a new job, less than a month after exiting the department store as it was sold in bankruptcy court to a new owner that plans to close it. She is joining Tiffany & Co. in December as executive vice president and chief brand officer, according to a statement from the company.
Her role is a new one for the business, overseeing both merchandising and marketing. This week, Tiffany also announced the departure of chief marketing officer Pamela Cloud. Andrea C. Davey, the senior vice president of global marketing, now reports to Vitale.
"Daniella is a brand leader who has been successful in leveraging her strong product sensibility and appreciation for data and analytics to evolve a business," said Tiffany Chief Executive Alessandro Bogliolo in a statement.
The appointment comes during a pivotal time for Tiffany, which received a $14.5 billion takeover offer from French luxury conglomerate LVMH in October. The deal would be one of the supergroup's biggest-ever acquisitions. According to reports, Tiffany said the proposal was too low but would consider a higher offer.
Tiffany has more than 300 stores globally and a robust presence in China, making it attractive to a buyer like LVMH.
Despite its high brand recognition, the American jeweller has struggled to modernise its brand identity in recent years, as it also worked to update its retail network and store experience.
While Tiffany's net sales hit a record in 2018, this year has been more challenging. In the first half of 2019, worldwide net sales decreased 3 percent to $2.1 billion.
Vitale has ample experience in brand management, having come to Barneys from Gucci where she was president and chief executive of the luxury brand in the Americas.
Hard luxury, like the engagement rings that Tiffany is known for, are more challenging to sell to a new generation that is motivated by self-gifting than special gift-giving occasions. Vitale will likely work to reimagine the brand image to better align the newer collections from Chief Artistic Director Reed Krakoff, who designed the well-received "Paper Flowers" line, and the older blockbuster T collection from former Design Director Francesca Amfitheatrof, which continues to be a top performer.