NEW YORK — Gabriella Forte, chief executive officer of David Yurman Inc., the fine jewelry and timepiece company, has resigned her post, effective Thursday. She had been in the role since April 2015.
Known as a hard-driving business executive, Forte reported to cofounders David and Sybil Yurman. David Yurman, chairman, will serve as interim ceo and the company’s board of directors has initiated the search process for a new ceo.
“The company is well-positioned for future growth, and I am confident the time is right for me to step aside and allow the leadership team to execute against the strategy,” said Forte, who was unavailable for further comment on her plans.
“Gabriella played a pivotal role leading the company and her energy and passion pushed us to become more forward-looking. We wish her the very best with her future endeavors,” Yurman said.
Part of Forte’s role was to propel the family-owned company into international markets. During her tenure, David Yurman opened its first retail operations in the Middle East, opening two pop-up stores last fall at Bloomingdale’s in The Dubai Mall and at Harvey Nichols — Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates. The launch was in partnership with Al Tayer Group, which owns and operates both of those department stores in Dubai.
Prior to the Dubai launch, the brand’s international footprint was in Canada and France. The Dubai locations were viewed as a way to reach more markets and customers. David Yurman also added a London office that oversaw the Middle East and European expansion.
When Forte came on board, she succeeded Yurman as interim ceo following the departure of Glen Senk in February 2014. Forte brought a wealth of international retail experience to Yurman, having worked in marketing, distribution and licensing for such luxury brands as Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. Her most recent post was a senior consultant for Dolce & Gabbana and general manager of their beauty division, having been president and licensing director of Dolce & Gabbana USA. Before that, she was ceo of ibeauty.com and spent five years at Calvin Klein Inc., where as president and chief operating officer she aggressively expanded Klein’s European business.
Forte’s departure is the second one at David Yurman in the last week. Silvia Galfo, the brand’s chief marketing officer, stepped down last week to return to the beauty sector. Prior to joining David Yurman, she was senior vice president of marketing at Lancôme USA.