By  on February 4, 2009

There’s a changing of the guard in store for Tumi.

Laurence Franklin, chief executive officer and president of the accessories firm, will retire April 1 and be succeeded by Jerome Griffith, president of the Americas of Esprit Holdings Ltd.

Franklin, who has been associated with the accessories brand since 1985, has been ceo since 2002. He left for six years to be president of Coach, but returned in 1999 as president. During his tenure, Tumi’s sales increased substantially and the company has grown to 150 concept shops and in-store boutiques in more than 30 countries. He will remain on Tumi’s board and will assist in the transition.

Griffith, who has also been president of retail at Tommy Hilfiger and managing director of Europe for the Gap, started his career at Lord & Taylor.

“Jerome is an ideal candidate to take us to the next level, and with the breadth and depth of his international retail experience, I am confident he will be a great leader for the business,” said Franklin, who declined further comment.

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