Alex and Ani plans brisk expansion

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – A local jewelry company plans to open new stores and hire hundreds of employees just months after their CEO of four-years abruptly stepped down.

On March 13, the Rhode Island based company released a statement saying CEO Giovanni Feroce, 45, would be replaced on an interim basis by Carolyn Rafaelian, the company’s founder and creative director.

The former CEO attributed his sudden departure to a decision by the company to go in a new direction. “Ultimately I don’t think it was one person’s decision, I think it was just time in the life-cycle of the company,” Feroce explained soon after his exit.

According to a company spokesperson, in addition to recently hiring seven new executives, they will open four new stores in 2014 and hire 250 people within the next 6 months.

Alex and Ani, which sells bangle bracelets and other accessories, was founded in 2004 and opened its first retail store in 2009. The company has said its revenue soared from less than $5 million in 2010 to $230 million in 2013.

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