Zale Corp., the largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North America, recently elected Sue E. Gove to its board of directors. Gove has served as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer since July 2002. She also served until February 2003 as the company’s chief financial officer, a position she held since December 1997.
In her role as COO, Gove oversees finance, distribution, real estate, information systems, loss prevention, and credit services. She began her career with Zale in 1980 in the accounting department. Since that time she has held numerous financial and operational positions within the company, both at the divisional and corporate levels.
Gove is credited with leading the company’s financial restructuring in July 2003, which included repurchasing approximately 20% of the outstanding shares of common stock and refinancing the company’s long-term debt at a substantial savings to the corporation.
Along with the company’s chief executive officer, Mary L. Forte, she has been a chief architect of Zale’s growth strategy over the last two years. The growth strategy includes a direct product sourcing initiative to improve gross margins and revenues, the rollout of an off-mall jewelry store concept, and the implementation of a fully integrated information technology strategy to support the Company’s growth.
Gove also serves as a director for the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas, the Jewelers Security Alliance, and the Manufacturers and Jewelry Suppliers Association, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.