Zale Replaces President, CEO Betsy Burton

Zale Corp. on Thursday announced that retail industry veteran Neal Goldberg has been named president and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based specialty retailer of fine jewelry, effective immediately. He also has joined the company’s board of directors.

Goldberg, 48, replaces Betsy Burton (pictured), who the company said is stepping down from her management and board positions. Burton, a director of Zale since August 2003, has served as CEO of the company since February 2006. She will continue to advise the company pursuant to a two-year consulting agreement.

Goldberg has 27 years of experience in the retail industry, including senior roles at Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, and Gap Inc. Most recently, he served as president of The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc., a leading specialty retailer of high quality, value-priced apparel, and accessories for children.

“We believe Neal Goldberg will be an outstanding CEO,” said John B. Lowe, Jr., chairman of Zale Board of Directors. “He has a unique combination of retail experience, leadership and teambuilding skills, and talent to move the company forward, building on the progress that has already been achieved. In his various roles at specialty retailers and department stores, Neal has proven to be both a strong merchant and a skilled operator who has inspired his colleagues and earned the respect of his business partners.”

Lowe continued, “We appreciate the contributions that Betsy Burton has made to Zale—both as an executive and as a director. We wish her well and look forward to a smooth leadership transition.”

“I am very excited about this opportunity to apply the skills I have developed over the past 27 years at leading specialty and department store retailers,” Goldberg said. “My primary objective as CEO of Zale will be to drive value for the benefit of our shareholders, customers, employees, vendors, and business partners. The company has identified several high-level strategies with respect to customer, product and return on capital discipline. I would anticipate reviewing these strategies for further refinement in order to reach our full potential. Fortunately, we will be working from a solid foundation of great brands, dedicated and enthusiastic associates, loyal customers and strong vendor relationships.”