Whitehall Names Don CEO

Whitehall Jewelers Holdings, Inc. said Wednesday that Michael Don assumed the role of chief executive officer. He was previously president and chief operating officer of Chicago-based specialty retail jewelry chain.

Don replaces Edward Dayoob, who retired as CEO, although he will remain active with the company as board chairman and consultant, advising on merchandising and operations strategy.

Whitehall said no other changes in the company’s management team are planned.

 “Mike has exhibited strong leadership and is well suited to take over as the CEO of Whitehall,” Dayoob said. “Mike and I have worked together for more than 15 years and his deep industry experience and his exposure to all aspects of Whitehall’s operations in his roles as chief financial officer and then as chief operating officer, gives him a unique perspective, and will ensure a smooth transition.”

Dayoob continued, “I was asked to come to Whitehall to re-establish the company’s direction, and hire a top quality team that could grow the company. I am pleased to have completed these tasks and look forward to my ongoing involvement as Chairman and advisor to the company in key areas including vendor relationships.”

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead a very talented and committed team to move the company toward consistent, profitable growth,” Don said. “I am pleased that we will be able to continue to benefit from Ed’s insights and industry savvy.”

Don joined Whitehall as executive vice president and chief financial officer in November 2006 and was appointed president and chief operating officer in August 2007.

Previously, Don was chief executive officer of Fred Meyer Jewelers from 1995 to 2000, after holding various positions within its parent company, Fred Meyer, Inc., including vice president of real estate and senior vice president, strategic planning. Don also was the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Columbia Distributing Company, a $500 million multi-state beverage distribution company.

Whitehall currently operates 375 stores in regional and super-regional malls and power centers in 39 states.