Industry / Retail

Beryl Raff to Retire as Helzberg Chair and CEO


Beryl Raff (pictured), who has served as CEO and chair of Helzberg Diamonds since 2009, will step down as head of the 170-store chain on July 1, the company announced.

Brad Hampton, Helzberg Diamonds’ chief financial officer and executive board member for the past five years, will take over as Helzberg’s new CEO. He will also serve as interim CFO until a successor is named.

Julie Yoakum will become president and chief merchandising officer. Her current title is senior vice president, chief merchandising officer.

Bruce Pryor, current senior vice president, e-commerce, will report to Yoakum.

Mitch Maggart, whose current title is senior vice president, chief store operations and real estate officer, will become executive vice president, chief operations and real estate officer.

Senior vice president and chief marketing officer Ellen Junger will report to Hampton.

Raff will continue to advise the Helzberg Diamonds’ executive team as nonexecutive chairman of the board.

“I want to personally thank Beryl for her industry-leading vision and one-of-a-kind contributions to Helzberg Diamonds,” said Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Helzberg Diamonds, in a statement. “She will be missed.”

Raff first joined Helzberg in 2009, replacing Marvin Beasley. Before coming to Helzberg, she helmed both Zale Corp., and J.C. Penney’s jewelry department.

Raff has long been active in industry associations, serving as chair of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and on the board of the American Gem Society (AGS). In 2013, the AGS honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Raff said in a statement, “Helzberg Diamonds is my family. The relationships I’ve built with my teams, sales associates, and customers have enhanced my life beyond measure. I’ll miss everything about leading this amazing brand, but I’m ready to start a new chapter.”

Photo courtesy of Helzberg Diamonds

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By: Rob Bates

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