Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, as the song goes, but the luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. is Leigh Harlan’s best buddy. The company announced it will promote Harlan from associate general counsel to senior vice president and general counsel in charge of global legal affairs on May 22.
Harlan replaces Patrick Dorsey, 63, who is retiring after 29 years with the company, according to Friday’s announcement and the company’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Mark Aaron, Tiffany’s vice president for investor relations, said neither Dorsey nor Harlan was available to comment. Aaron did not answer other questions. And no compensation information was available on either lawyer.
Harlan, 37, joined Tiffany in April 2012 from Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, where she practiced corporate, transactional and finance law. She will report to Michael Kowalski, Tiffany’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“Since joining Tiffany, Leigh has proven herself invaluable, demonstrating a sharp, agile intellect, keen legal acumen and strong leadership skills,” Kowalski said in the company’s statement.
The CEO also praised the departing general counsel. “I can only express immense appreciation for Pat’s enormous contributions since joining Tiffany in 1985. Pat played a pivotal role in Tiffany’s initial public offering in 1987.”
He called Dorsey “an insightful and creative advisor over these many years,” adding, “I will always be grateful for Pat’s wise counsel and his friendship.”
Before joining Tiffany, Dorsey was senior corporate attorney and group counsel for PerkinElmer Inc. He also had worked in private practice.
Dorsey also has served on the board of directors of the Tiffany & Co. Foundation since 2000, according to the foundation’s website. It was not clear if he would continue in that post. Harlan serves as the foundation’s secretary.
For Tiffany & Co., it is the second major shake-up of executives this month. Ralph Nicoletti, 56, became chief financial officer on April 2. He replaced James Fernandez, 58, who the company said intends to retire in July.