Former Zale CEO Forte Appointed Acting Head of CIRCA

Mary Forte, the former president and CEO of Zale Corp., has been appointed acting CEO of CIRCA, the buyer of jewelry, diamonds, and watches.

She replaces Chris Del Gatto, the company’s cofounder, who left this summer and is no longer involved with the company.

Forte, a board member, tells JCK she has played an active role in the company since August, and it was “a natural” for her step in and run the business.

CIRCA bills itself as the “the largest buyer of jewelry worldwide.” It buys jewelry from the public in collaboration with casinos and at its 10 offices located in New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Calif., Geneva, and Hong Kong. That will soon expand to 13, with new offices in Madrid, Dallas, and Las Vegas. It estimates it will buy more than 200,000 carats of diamonds by 2015.  

It also has an invitation-only network for jewelers, through which it organizes buying events, and also features year-round mail-in capability.

Forte says the company will soon debut a new marketing campaign and website, which will eventually buy from the public.

The company also announced that Jayne Conway has been promoted from chief administrative officer and chief financial officer to chief operating officer, and will retain the role of CFO.

Conway formerly served as the chief of brand strategy at Dunkin’ Brands, parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, leading the divestiture of the company to private equity. She has also been chief financial officer at Gulf Oil and Planet Fitness. 

JCK News Director