National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Zale CEO resigns in post-merger shakeup

By Brecken Branstrator

July 02, 2014

Zale President and CEO Theo Killion will leave the company at the end of the month.

Hamilton, Bermuda--Zale President and CEO Theo Killion has resigned from his position effective July 31, one of a number of changes to Signet and Zale's executive teams in the wake of the merger of the two mall giants.  

George Murray, Signet Jewelers Inc.’s current chief integration management officer, has been promoted to president of the Zale division, and will succeed Killion upon his departure. He will re-locate to the company’s Dallas office and will report to Signet President and COO Mark Light.

Additionally, Signet Jewelers CFO Ronald Ristau has resigned from his position effective July 31, in order to relocate to be closer to his family.

Michele Santana, currently Signet’s senior vice president and controller, has been promoted to chief financial officer designate effective immediately. Santana will take over Ristau’s position following his departure.

She has been with the company since 2010, serving in her position as senior vice president and controller since that time. Santana has played a key role in all aspects of the company’s finance function, including with the recent acquisition of Zale Corp.

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Meanwhile, Sterling Jewelers COO Ed Hrabak has been promoted to president of the Sterling division. He also will report to Light.

In addition, a Sterling company spokesperson confirmed that the following Zale employees have announced their intention to leave the company at the end of July: Chief Administrative Officer Matt Appel; Chief Marketing Officer Richard Lennox; Chief Merchandising and Sourcing Officer Gil Hollander; Senior Vice President, Real Estate Richard Golden; and Senior Vice President and Chief Stores Officer Becky Mick.

Appel and Lennox’s positions will not be replaced, while replacements for the other three roles will be announced at a later date.

Thomas Haubenstricker will stay on as the CFO for the Zale division and also will oversee supply chain management, information technology and real estate, as well as financial products.