Zale CEO Resigns
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.
Walgreens Sued by Pharmacists
Deerfield, Ill., Alleging they were illegally fired, four Walgreens pharmacists have sued the company. The terminations came after the pharmacists refused to sign a pledge promising to dispense the morning-after birth control pill.
A new Illinois law requires that, for emergency birth control, federally approved contraceptives be filled “without delay” if a pharmacy has the medication in stock. The rule is being challenged in federal court.
An attorney for the plaintiffs said in a statement, “It couldn’t be any clearer. In punishing these pharmacists for asserting a right protected by the Conscience Act, Walgreens broke the law.”
However, Walgreens has countered by saying it is upholding the current statute. “We are required to follow the law,” said company spokesman Michael Polzin. “We don’t have a choice in the matter.”
Verizon Calling BJ’s
Bedminster, N.J., Verizon Wireless has announced a deal with BJ’s Wholesale Clubs Inc. to install Verizon shops in more than 128 BJ’s locations. The in-store shops will sell phones, accessories and a variety of service plans and also accept bill payments. Verizon will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the kiosks.