Dallas, Zale Corp. announced on Monday that Mary L. Forte, president, CEO and member of the board, has resigned from the company, effective immediately. Forte joined Zale in 1994 as head of its Gordon’s division and has been CEO since mid-2002. Her resignation came on the heels of a disappointing holiday season. Most of the company’s profit comes in the holiday quarter and the last two years have been misses.
Board member Betsy Burton has been named interim CEO until a successor is named. Burton, who has been on Zale’s board since 1993, has a reputation as a turnaround specialist. She has been CEO of various companies, including Supercuts, PIP Printing and the Cosmetic Center.
Zale operates 2,400 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada under a variety of banners, including Zales Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers and Gordon’s Jewelers.