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Pandora Appoints New CEO

Danish jewelry maker names shoe retailer Björn Gulden chief executive officer, effective March 2012.

PARIS — Danish jewelry maker Pandora has appointed Björn Gulden as chief executive officer, capping a five-month search for an executive capable of turning around its waning fortunes.

Gulden is managing director of the Germany-based Deichmann Group, Europe’s largest shoe retailer, and president and ceo of its Rack Room and Off Broadway U.S. retail chains. Before that, he spent eight years with Adidas.

He will take over on March 1 from interim ceo Marcello Bottoli, who was appointed in August after his predecessor, Mikkel Vendelin Olesen, resigned following a profit warning that caused the company’s shares to fall by nearly 65 percent in a single session.

Allan Leighton, chairman of Pandora, said: “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.”

He also praised the performance of Bottoli, who will become deputy chairman of the Pandora board once Gulden takes up his post.

Pandora said the announcement would have no impact on its guidance for 2011.

Known for its charm bracelets, Pandora, which sells its jewelry in more than 65 countries, previously said that revenue this year will be in line with the 6.67 billion Danish kroner, or $1.19 billion at current exchange, it posted in 2010. Originally, the firm anticipated revenue growth of “no less than 30 percent.”

Its sales plummeted by around 30 percent in July after Olesen hiked prices to compensate for increased gold and silver costs, a tactic that did not go well with thrifty consumers.