Sterling names Light as CEO, Montalto as COO

Sterling Jewelers Inc, the second largest U.S. retail jeweler, has made some major changes in its top management. The moves have been made “to prepare for future growth and reinforce its leading position in the specialty retail jewelry sector,” the company said Thursday in a statement.

Sterling is the U.S. operations of London-based Signet Group plc., the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler. The appointments are as follows:

* Mark Light was named chief executive officer of Sterling. Light retains his current responsibilities as president and has also been appointed to Signet’s Board of Directors.

* William Montalto, Sr., was named chief operating officer. In addition to his current responsibilities as executive vice president of marketing, advertising, customer relations, MIS, distribution, and credit operations, Montalto assumes the responsibilities of real estate and store planning. He will also remain involved in strategy development of the U.S. business.

* Terry Burman continues as executive chairman of the board of Sterling Jewelers Inc. and chief executive of the Signet Group. The promotions of Light and Montalto will “enable Burman to focus more on the strategy, leadership and management of Signet Group as a whole, while maintaining oversight of the US division and be involved in its strategic development.,” Sterling said.

Since joining the company ten years ago, Burman said, he has focused on developing and promoting executives from within. “Mark and Bill have demonstrated that they are committed to this principle, and I’m confident our outstanding management culture will sustain itself and continue to produce superior career opportunities for all our employees.” 

Signet operates 1,820 stores, of which 1,219 are by Sterling in the United States, trading as “Kay Jewelers,” “Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry” and a number of regional names.