NEW YORK (AP) _ Saks Holdings Inc., the parent company for Saks Fifth Avenue, tapped a senior Tiffany & Co. executive to be its top merchant in charge of the retailer's fashion, production and design.

Jeanne Daniel, 41, was named executive vice president of merchandising, reporting directly to chairman and chief executive Philip Miller.

To help guide Daniel in her new position, Miller will hand over the responsibilities of Saks' Off 5th and Folio divisions to vice chairman Brian Kendrick.

Miller had been overseeing all merchandising since October, when Stephen Bock resigned from the New York-based retailer. That followed the abrupt departure of president and chief merchant Rose Marie Bravo in September.

Analysts said the shakeup will put Saks back on track after the period of instability.

``This means they finally have someone in charge of merchandising and Daniel is terrific to have,'' said Walter Loeb, who runs the retail consulting firm Loeb Associates.

Daniel, 41, joins Saks after 12 years at Tiffany, where she most recently was executive vice president of merchandising and marketing. She previously worked at Royal Doulton, Macy's East and Lord & Taylor.

``She has been instrumental in building brands at Tiffany and is responsible for all of their product development,'' Miller said in a phone interview. ``Her arrival will open up a lot of time for me'' to concentrate on other ventures.