MONTREAL, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - After leading Birks & Mayors Inc. for more than 15 years as President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Andruskevich announced today his plans to resign from the Company in the spring of 2012 after a successor has been named. Mr. Andruskevich joined the Company in his current capacity in June 1996.
In commenting on the announcement, Lorenzo Rossi di Montelera, Chairman of Birks & Mayors, said, "Tom's contributions to the Company's growth and stability have been extraordinary. He has overseen our development and expansion, stabilizing and repositioning Birks as the premier luxury jewelry brand in Canada, and acquiring and integrating US jeweler Mayors, which he rebranded as the premier luxury retail jeweler in the Southeastern U.S. He has led the Company to a greatly improved financial condition after a period of challenge in the sector. Tom's history of success in turn-around situations as well as his leadership skills and sophisticated financial experience have worked very well for us; he has our great appreciation and respect. His legacy here will be substantial."
Dr. Rossi said that the Company's Board and Mr. Andruskevich have been working together in a search for a successor and to ensure that the transition will be smooth and seamless. At the Board's request, Mr. Andruskevich agreed to continue as Vice-Chairman of the Board after the transition is complete and to serve on the Board's Executive Committee.
Following is an excerpt of a letter sent by Mr. Andruskevich to Birks & Mayors employees today:
I'm writing to tell you that I have decided to leave my current position with Birks & Mayors this coming Spring. The Board and I have been working together for some time to find the right successor, and I have been asked to stay on as Vice-Chairman, which I am pleased to do.
I am leaving because as an enthusiastic student of business, I want to pursue Board positions and advisory roles for luxury brands and other high-end companies, where much of my marketing and financial skills have been honed over a 30-year period.
I am enormously proud of what we have been able to accomplish, as I believe you know. Our current financial position is a tremendous feat in the recent economic environment. I believe it stands as a tribute to the ability, discipline and commitment to which all of you contribute each and every day. The team we have built is strong, and the Company is stable and poised for further growth. This is a good time to transition to new leadership that will guide Birks & Mayors through its next chapter in history. The opportunities that lie ahead for Birks & Mayors are indeed great as we look to the further development of the Birks brand and product assortment as well as our expansion plans abroad.
When I look back on these last 15 years, I think of the impact we had - together - on this great Company. How together we turned around Birks, re-merchandised our product assortment and re-designed and rebuilt our stores. We repositioned our brand with fresh advertising, marketing and merchandising initiatives. We built state-of-the-art information technology systems, enabling world class financial reporting. This also helped us develop internal controls and corporate governance that we believe are best practices for a public company like ours.
We acquired Mayors in 2002 and Brinkhaus in 2007, and we successfully integrated these companies with Birks. We turned Mayors around in two short years; and then hit a brick wall during the 2008 and 2009 recession. It was challenging, but we all pulled together and got through it. Now we believe we are well positioned to grow and achieve new heights.
You, my colleagues and friends, are the heart and soul of this Company. As I have frequently said, you are the ones who bring our brands to life. You put a face on all the reasons we've been so successful. You and your predecessors have created 132 years of trust and heritage that our Company and its brands enjoy today. You must always remember the important role each and everyone of you play in our success.
YOU are what I will miss most!
Finally, I want to say what an honor it has been to have led a company like Birks & Mayors and to have had the opportunity to impact these iconic brands. I want to thank our Board of Directors and Shareholders for their support. Special tribute goes to our Chairman, Lorenzo Rossi di Montelera, for his guidance and partnership over these years. He has always been unwavering in his passion for the Birks brand and was ever steady during the more difficult times. His friendship means a great deal."
About Birks & Mayors Inc.
Birks & Mayors is a leading retailer with 61 luxury jewellery stores in Canada and the United States. The Company operates 32 stores under the Birks brand in most major markets in Canada and 26 stores under the Mayors brand in Florida and Georgia, two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand, and one retail location in Orlando under the Rolex brand. Birks was founded in 1879 and developed over the years into Canada's premier retailer, designer and manufacturer of fine jewellery, timepieces, sterling and plated silverware and gifts. Visit www.birks.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain "forward-looking" statements concerning the Company's performance and strategies, including, that the Company is poised for further growth and to achieve new heights and the intent to further develop the Birks brand and product assortment as well as expansion plans abroad. Because such statements include various risks and uncertainties, actual results might differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements and no assurance can be given that the Company will meet the results projected in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the following: (i) economic, political and market conditions, including the economies of the U.S. and Canada, which could adversely affect our business, operating results or financial condition, including our revenue and profitability, through the impact of changes in the real estate markets (especially in the state of Florida), changes in the equity markets and decreases in consumer confidence and the related changes in consumer spending patterns, the impact on store traffic, tourism and sales; (ii) the impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, increases in commodity prices and borrowing costs and their related impact on the Company's costs and expenses; and (iii) the Company's ability to maintain and obtain sufficient sources of liquidity to fund its operations, to achieve planned sales, gross margin and net income, to keep costs low, to implement its business strategy, maintain relationships with its primary vendors, to mitigate fluctuations in the availability and prices of the Company's merchandise, to compete with other jewelers, to succeed in its marketing initiatives, and to have a successful customer service program. Information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 8, 2011 and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this statement or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.
Director, Public Relations & Events
Birks & Mayors Inc.
SOURCE BIRKS & MAYORS INC.