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Zale Names Robert DiNicola New Chairman, CEO

March 15, 1994

DALLAS (AP) _ Zale Corp., the nation’s largest jewelry retailer, named a former Federated Department Stores executive on Tuesday as the chain’s new chairman and chief executive officer.

The appointment of Robert DiNicola, former chairman and chief executive of Federated’s Bon Marche division, becomes effective April 18.

Zale board member Richard Marcus said DiNicola was chosen because of his ″distinguished retailing record which will translate well to our needs now and in the future.″

DiNicola has been with Federated since 1989, holding a variety of positions at Bon Marche and Rich’s in Atlanta. He worked for R.H. Macy’s Corp. for a decade and also worked at the May Co. in Los Angeles.

Zale had been looking for a new top executive since Dean Groussman abruptly resigned as chairman, president and chief executive officer in August, just days after the company emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization. Groussman, who had been appointed chief executive in September 1992, reportedly was forced out by Zale’s newly installed board.

The company named Larry Pollock as president and chief operating officer in December. Pollock had been president and chief executive of Kartens Jewelers in New Bedford, Mass.

Zale was forced into involuntary bankruptcy by creditors Jan. 1, 1992, with more than $1.6 billion in debt. The jewelry chain, which had been struggling under weak sales and high interest expenses, operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for 19 months.

During the restructuring, Zale closed one-third of its stores. Since then, the company has been trying to boost sales and carve out three distinct niches for its stores, which include Zales, Gordon’s, Corrigans and Bailey Banks & Biddle.

Dallas-based Zale now has 1,265 stores or leased jewelry departments in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam.

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