Zale CEO Resigns

Zale Corp. has switched CEOs again, the fifth time it has done so since the year 2000.

The company announced in January that Neal Goldberg, chief executive officer since December 2007, had resigned, along with relatively recent hires William Acevedo, chief stores officer, and Mary Kwan, chief merchandising officer. Theo Killion, current president, was appointed interim CEO.

In addition, Gil Hollander, executive vice president and chief sourcing and supply chain officer, is taking on the additional role of chief merchandising officer. Hollander has over 35 years of experience in the jewelry industry and joined Zale in September 2000 after it acquired Piercing Pagoda.

Zale chief financial officer Matthew Appel told JCK that the main reason for the resignations was that the board wanted to “return to profitability.” Zale has not been profitable for the last seven quarters.

Regarding sale rumors, he added, “The company is not for sale.”

Prior to Christmas, stories ran that Zale had hired a restructuring firm in a bid to avoid bankruptcy. Those reports were strongly denied by Zale spokesmen, who stress the company is not at risk for Chapter 11.

In a statement, board chairman John B. Lowe Jr. vowed to focus again on “Zale’s core diamond business.”