Major management shake-up at Signet Group

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Zale CEO Theo Killion and Signet CFO announce resignations.

Signet Jewelers has announced the resignation of its chief financial officer Ronald Ristau and Zale chief executive officer and president Theo Killion, weeks after the jewellery group finalised its acquisition of US-wide Zale chain.

In a statement released on July 1, Signet outlined the resignation of Ronald Ristau from his position as chief financial officer, effective July 31, 2014.

Michele Santana, Signet’s current senior vice president and controller, has been promoted to chief financial officer designate, effective immediately. Santana will succeed Ristau as CFO of Signet following his departure. She has worked at Signet for four years and played a role in the company’s recent acquisition of Zale Corporation.

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Signet’s chief executive officer Mike Barnes said: “Michele has been a key member of the Signet leadership team during a period of exceptional success and growth. She brings outstanding qualifications and experience in all aspects of finance to the company and I am confident she will be a tremendous asset as we continue to grow.”

Commenting on Ristau’s resignation, Barnes added: “Since he joined Signet in 2010, Ron has been instrumental in Signet’s strong growth and performance, and he played a critical role in Signet’s recent acquisition of Zale. We respect his decision to relocate to be nearer to his family. On behalf of Signet, I thank Ron for his many contributions to Signet and wish him well in his future endeavours."

The company, which operates Jared, Kays and Zale stores in the North America and Canada, and H Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK, also announced that Zale chief executive and president Theo Killion has also resigned his role, effective July 31.

According to JCK, it is understood that a number of Zale executives are also leaving the company, including chief administrative officer Matt Appel; chief marketing officer Richard Lennox; chief merchandising and sourcing officer Gil Hollander and senior vice president and chief stores officer Becky Mick. Signet hopes to fill Hollander and Mick’s roles.

Amid these changes, the group’s current chief integration management officer George Murray has been promoted to president of the Zale Division and will succeed Killion upon his departure. Signet also outlined that Ed Hrabak has been promoted to president of group’s Sterling Division. Murray, Hrabak, and Sebastian Hobbs, managing director of the UK division as of July 2013, will all report to Mark Light, Signet president and chief operating officer.

Barnes added: “George and Ed have more than 40 years combined at Signet and bring a wealth of retail management experience to their new roles. Mark and I are excited to work with Seb and them as the leaders of their divisions."

At present, Signet operates more than 1,400 stores in the US and 500 across Signet’s UK division. It also runs 1,600 locations under the Zale, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda names in the US and Canada.
 

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