DALLAS, December 20 /CNW/ - Zale Corporation (NYSE: ZLC), a leading
specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North America, today announced that
retail industry veteran Neal Goldberg has been named President and Chief
Executive Officer, effective immediately. He has also joined the Company's
Board of Directors.
Mr. Goldberg, 48, 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.
Mr. Goldberg has been appointed as successor to Betsy Burton, who is
stepping down from her management and Board positions. Ms. 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
John B. Lowe, Jr., Chairman of the Zale Board of Directors, said, "We
believe Neal Goldberg will be an outstanding CEO. 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. We are
delighted that he has agreed to join Zale to continue the focus on driving
Mr. 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."
Mr. Goldberg said, "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. 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."
Additional Biographical Information
As President of The Children's Place, Mr. Goldberg was responsible for
overseeing marketing, store operations and all aspects of the merchandising
process, including design, merchandising, planning and procurement. As of
December 1, 2007, the company owned and operated 911 The Children's Place
stores and 330 Disney Stores in North America and its online stores.
Prior to joining The Children's Place as President in January 2004, Mr.
Goldberg served as President of Gap Inc.'s Outlet Division for two years,
overseeing 220 stores across the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands with
combined sales of over $1.0 billion. Prior to Gap, he spent two years at the
Victoria's Secret Beauty/Intimate Beauty Corp. division of Limited Brands,
most recently as Senior Vice President/Chief Stores Officer. Before that, Mr.
Goldberg spent 16 years with Macy's as a buyer, store manager and ultimately
as Senior Vice President/General Manager for the chain's flagship Herald
Square location, the world's largest store. While General Manager, Mr.
Goldberg led Herald Square through one of its most successful and profitable
growth periods. Mr. Goldberg began his retailing career in the Executive
Training Program at Bloomingdale's. He is a graduate of the University of
Investor Conference Call
A conference call with members of the investment community will be held
today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Parties interested in participating should
dial 706-643-7467 five minutes prior to the scheduled start time. A webcast of
the call, as well as a replay, will be available on the Company's Web site at
www.zalecorp.com. For additional information, contact Investor Relations at
About Zale Corporation
Zale Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North
America, operating approximately 2,200 retail locations throughout the United
States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as online. Zale Corporation's brands
include Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Gordon's Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers,
Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda. Zale also operates online at
www.zales.com and www.gordonsjewelers.com. Additional information on Zale
Corporation and its brands is available at www.zalecorp.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements
regarding the strategies being implemented by the Company and their future
success. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance
and a variety of factors could cause the Company's actual results to differ
materially from the results expressed in the forward-looking statements. These
factors include, but are not limited to: the general performance of its
business. For other factors, see the Company's filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal
year ended July 31, 2007. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or
revise publicly or otherwise any forward-looking statements to reflect
subsequent events, new information or future circumstances.
For further information:
For further information: Zale Corporation David H. Sternblitz,
972-580-5047 Vice President and Treasurer