January 30, 2006 17:05 ET

Zale Corporation Announces Resignation of President and CEO Mary L. Forte

DALLAS--(CCNMatthews - Jan 30, 2006) -

Zale Corporation (NYSE:ZLC) announced today that Mary L. Forte, President and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board, has resigned from the Corporation. Effective immediately, the Board of Directors has appointed Board member Betsy Burton as Interim Chief Executive Officer until a successor is named.

"The Company would like to thank Mary for her many contributions over the last 11 years and we wish her well in her future endeavors," commented Richard C. Marcus, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "We are very appreciative of the talent and energy she brought to the business."

Ms. Burton, 54, has formerly served as Chief Executive Officer of various companies including Supercuts, Inc., PIP Printing and the Cosmetic Center, Inc. Having gained a reputation as a turnaround specialist, she has most recently provided interim management and consulting services in the retail industry. Ms. Burton has served on the Zale Board since 2003 and also sits on several other public company boards including Staples, Aeropostale, and Rent-A-Center.

Commenting on the planned change in leadership, Mr. Marcus remarked, "The Board is committed to making sure we find the right leadership. We are pleased to have Betsy help lead this transition process as the Board conducts its internal and external search for a new CEO."

Zale Corporation is North America's largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry operating approximately 2,400 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, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda. Through its ZLC Direct organization, Zale also operates online at and Additional information on Zale Corporation and its brands is available at

Contact Information

  • Zale Corporation, Dallas
    David H. Sternblitz, 972-580-5047
    Vice President and Treasurer