Head of Pandora Americas to Step Down Next Month

Copenhagen–Pandora A/S announced Thursday that Scott Burger, who has headed the Americas market for five and a half years, will step down next month.

The company said it already has begun looking for his replacement and expects to name a president for Pandora Americas, which has its headquarters in Baltimore, in the second quarter.

In the meantime, Pandora CEO Anders Colding Friis will oversee the region.

Burger was named president of Pandora Americas–which encompasses the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America–in August 2012. Prior to that, he spent a year as the company’s chief financial officer and about four years as its chief operating officer.

Head of Pandora Americas to Step Down Next MonthScott Burger
Pandora said Burger would be stepping down in February to “dedicate himself to new endeavors” after a total of 10 years with the company. No other details were given.

During his early years with Pandora, the brand enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with independent jewelers in the United States; the jewelers relied on the inexpensive bead brand to help get them through the recession and Pandora, in turn, saw huge growth in the market.

In the last few years, however, Pandora’s plans have changed. The company has pulled its merchandise from thousands of U.S. independents in favor of opening company-owned and -operated concept stores or shop-in-shops in order to have more control over its brand, leaving many independents feeling like they were treated unfairly.

Over the past few quarters, the company has seen U.S. sales slip, dinged in part by the decline in mall traffic and by other affordable jewelry brands being “increasingly promotional,” it said.

Meanwhile, the news about Burger’s departure came as a small paragraph at the end of a larger company announcement about the resignation of Pandora Chief Financial Officer Peter Vekslund, who will leave the company after about four years as CFO.

Board member Anders Boyer, 47, will resign from the board at the company’s annual general meeting in March and take over as CFO later this year.

Boyer currently is the CFO of Hempel A/S, a manufacturer of coatings. Vekslund will remain with Pandora until Boyer can assume the position, which is expected to be no later than Aug. 1.

Pandora is scheduled to release its annual report on Feb. 6.

Ahead of that, the company reported preliminary results for 2017 in a separate announcement also made Thursday.

Pandora said global sales totaled 22.8 billion DKK ($3.71 billion), a 12 percent year-over-year increase but below where the bead brand forecasted to be for the year.

CEO Friis said it was a “challenging” year for Pandora due to in part to the “difficult” retail climate in the U.S.

The company opened a net of 308 concept stores over the course of the year, slightly above its initial guidance of 300.

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