PARIS — Pandora has hired Martino Pessina as chief commercial officer, bringing on a longtime fast-fashion retail executive for a key position as the company restructures operations in a bid to reconnect with consumers.
Pessina joins from H&M, where he was most recently president of North American operations and will be charged with running the jeweler’s global commercial operations, reporting to chief executive officer Alexander Lacik.
The new job includes improving global merchandising and store development, and supporting franchise partners.
The Copenhagen-based fashion jeweler has been undergoing a broad overhaul, and earlier this month wiped out a layer of regional management, cutting 180 jobs.
The jeweler is present in more than 100 markets, which have been grouped into 10 clusters and headed by the manager of each cluster’s largest market, who will report to Pessina. He joins Pandora on April 2.
Before coronavirus disruption hit Pandora’s business in China, and now Europe and the U.S., the company had been struggling to deal with declining foot traffic in malls. Lacik, who joined last year, has been leading a brand reboot, bulking up marketing spending while buying back wholesale inventory, revisiting its store network and reducing discounts.
The Chinese market has proven challenging for the jeweler, which had seen a deterioration in its financial performance amid fierce competition in trendy jewelry, even before COVID-19-related store closures.
“He is a natural leader with excellent analytical skills and a deep understanding of shoppers,” Lacik said of the new recruit. At H&M, Pessina oversaw a sales and profit turnaround in North America, where annual revenue topped $4 billion, with 20,000 employees and more than 700 stores, according to Pandora’s statement. Pessina worked for nearly two decades at H&M, in retail, sales, merchandising, operations and global expansion.
As it focuses on more data-driven content for marketing, Pandora late last year recruited a former Bulgari marketing executive, Carla Liuni, to spearhead efforts to build a “creative and data-driven foundation for Pandora’s brand relevance,” which will include product development.