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Signet Appoints New CFO, Announces Changes in Leadership Structure to Boost Business Transformation Plan

Mar 14, 2019

Signet Jewelers announced this week that Joan M. Hilson will take over as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective April 4, 2019, succeeding current CFO Michele Santana, who will continue to serve in the role through that date. The Company also announced other organizational changes aimed at strengthening the leadership structure in support of its Path to Brilliance transformation plan.

Hilson will be responsible for leading the company’s finance, accounting, investor relations, tax and treasury teams and will be based in Akron, Ohio, and as announced earlier, Santana will remain with the company through the end of April 2019 to ensure a smooth transition.

Most recently, Hilson, who has over 30 years of experience in retail corporate finance leadership positions, was CFO of David’s Bridal from 2014 to March 2019. She has also worked in business planning, merchandise planning, inventory management, and cost optimization and has a strong track record of building high performing finance teams and developing leaders.

Hilson has earlier been the CFO of American Eagle Outfitters and held several roles within Limited Brands, including CFO of the Victoria’s Secret stores division. Earlier in her career, Hilson also worked at Sterling Jewelers Inc. and Coopers & Lybrand.

“I am excited to have Joan join Signet at such an important time for our business. She is an accomplished retail executive with extensive financial and operational experience. I am confident that Signet will benefit from her transformational experiences and perspective, as we accelerate our Path to Brilliance transformation efforts,” said Virginia C. Drosos, Chief Executive Officer.

Alongside this, Signet, drawing lessons from the first year of implementing its Path to Brilliance transformation plan, is bringing the leadership of its Kay, Zales and Peoples banners under one combined Mall Leadership Team.

“As we pursue our vision to be a share-gaining OmniChannel jewelry category leader, we are taking bold steps to reorganize our leadership team,” Drosos said. “We believe these changes will enable us to better capture banner growth opportunities, relentlessly improve product assortment, expand our precision journey-based targeting of customers, and create a stronger OmniChannel shopping experience in-store and online. This is enabled by driving strong operating efficiencies and better utilizing our scale.”

Jamie L. Singleton, currently Executive Vice President (EVP) Zales and Peoples, is promoted to President Kay, Zales, and Peoples, with full P&L and operational responsibilities, including merchandising, marketing, and eCommerce for these core mall-based store banners. Singleton has been with Signet for seven years, including general manager roles for Zales and Piercing Pagoda. Prior to Signet, she served in SVP roles at CPI Corp., David’s Bridal and After Hours Formalwear. She spent her early career in merchandising, design and product development roles at May Company, Saks, Inc., and Federated Department Stores.

Bill Luth, previously EVP Kay, has been named EVP, Global Store Operations, with global responsibility for store operations. Luth is a 30-year Signet veteran with extensive experience in store operations. Kecia Caffie is promoted to Senior Vice President, Piercing Pagoda. Singleton, Luth and Caffie will continue to report to Seb Hobbs, President and Chief Customer Officer.

“Jamie’s and Bill’s new roles, along with other leadership realignments following recent appointments of William R. Brace, Chief Marketing Officer and EVP Jared, and Toni Zehrer, Chief Merchandising Officer, add significant capability to our core merchandising, marketing, and store operations organizations,” said Drosos. “This is key to accelerating our Customer First strategy in year two of our Path to Brilliance transformation.”

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