Signet Jewelers Limited, the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the US, UK and Canada, has announced the resignation of Michael Barnes from his position as Chief Executive Officer and from the company’s board of directors, effective October 31, 2014.
The company said Mark Light, currently Signet’s President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Barnes as CEO and will also join board of directors. Signet is also reaffirming its financial guidance initiated in its second quarter earnings release on August 28, 2014.
Signet’s Chairman Todd Stitzer, said they delighted to announce Mark’s promotion to Chief Executive Officer of the company saying he is an experienced, strategic leader who has been deeply involved in the company’s Vision 2020 Strategy, the Zale acquisition and its ongoing
“In addition he has a meticulous approach to operational details, and has been the main architect of our Sterling division’s consistently profitable growth and has played a key role in defining and executing Signet’s growth strategy,” Stitzer said.
He has also been an advisor to our UK Managing Director since 2013 and became formally responsible for that business in mid-2014. These valuable attributes have been developed during his long and successful career of over 30 years with Signet, and the Board of Directors is confident that Mark is the right person to lead the Company forward as Signet enhances its position as a leading retailer in the US, UK and Canada.”
On Barnes’ resignation, Stitzer said the departing CEO has been the leader of the Signet executive management team during a period of outstanding transformation and growth.
Since he joined Signet in 2010, Mike has been an instrumental part of Signet’s success. He has played a critical role in Signet’s recent acquisition of Zale Corporation and its continuing integration.
“He has also led the development of Signet’s Vision 2020 Initiative for the future. We understand and respect his personal desire to relocate nearer to his family and pursue opportunities closer to his home in Dallas at this time. On behalf of Signet, I thank Mike for his many contributions to Signet and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
“I’ve enjoyed working closely with Mike Barnes to develop and implement successful strategies to accelerate the growth of Signet organically and through acquisitions,” said Mark Light. “I am extremely pleased with the progress we are making integrating the Zale division, and I remain confident that we will achieve our 3-year synergy expectations of $150 million to $175 million. More broadly,
I’m honored to take the helm of this enterprise to move Signet forward as a leader in the retail jewelry industry, bringing ever greater innovation in products, store concepts, customer service and marketing as we continue to grow our market share. Our strategic planning, operational excellence, and superior collaboration executed by our industry-leading teams, will continue to drive our success into the future.”
“It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to lead the outstanding Signet team through a period of significant transformation,” said Mike Barnes. Over these several years, I’ve worked closely with Mark, collaborating with him on all of Signet’s strategic initiatives, including the Zale acquisition and ongoing integration. “I have every confidence in Mark and wish him success in his new role.”