New CEO to take reins of Helzberg Diamonds

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture
brad hampton
Brad Hampton, incoming CEO for Helzberg Diamonds

The chief executive of Helzberg Diamonds is stepping down.

The jewelry retailer said that Beryl Raff, chairman and CEO, is retiring, effective July 1. Raff, who joined Helzberg Diamonds as chief executive in 2009, will continue to advise and consult Beryl Raff the company’s executive team as non-executive chairman of the board.

Brad Hampton, who served as Helzberg CFO and executive board member for the past five years, will succeed Raff as CEO. He also will continue serving as CFO in the interim until a successor is named.

“I want to personally thank Beryl for her industry-leading vision and one-of-a-kind contributions to Helzberg Diamonds,” said Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Helzberg Diamonds. “She will be missed.”

In a statement, Helzberg Diamonds said that Raff reshaped and helped the company navigate “through the most tumultuous retail economic times with calm, decisive, and strategic leadership and, most importantly, a great heart.”  She guided Helzberg Diamonds to exceed “a multitude of significant performance goals” and, as the longest-serving non-family CEO at Helzberg, she made the company relevant again in the retail landscape, the company noted.

“Beryl’s steadfast leadership helped position Helzberg Diamonds as an efficient and effective organization that is dedicated to meeting its customers’ needs,” said Greg Abel, vice-chairman of non-insurance operations of Berkshire Hathaway.

In other appointments, Julie Yoakum will assume the role of president – chief merchandising officer, and Bruce Pryor, senior VP – e-commerce, who has elevated Helzberg’s digital capabilities, will report to Yoakum. Mitch Maggart will assume the role of executive VP – chief operations & real estate officer. Ellen Junger, senior VP – chief marketing officer, who has driven Helzberg’s customer-first marketing approach, will report to Hampton.  

“Helzberg’s newly formed executive leadership team has remarkable business acumen that will ensure the company continues to see success well into the future,” said Abel.

based in North Kansas City, Mo., and a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Helzberg Diamonds has 170 stores nationwide.