Shake-Up at Signet: Two Big Retirements, New Roles

Shake-Up at Signet: Two Big Retirements, New Roles

Akron, Ohio–Signet Jewelers Ltd. announced Tuesday that Ed Hrabak and Tryna Kochanek, who each have been with the jewelry retailer for 30 years, are retiring amid a major senior management restructuring at the company.
Shake-Up at Signet: Two Big Retirements, New RolesBryan Morgan

The changes follow a holiday season that fell short of expectations and includes new roles focusing on the customer experience both online and in stores, and retail analytics.

Commenting on the changes in a company news release, CEO Mark Light said: “We continue to align our organization and priorities with … the changing retail environment, characterized by evolving shopping habits and increasing customer expectations for an outstanding digital experience.

“We are investing and directing more resources to improve the overall customer omnichannel journey, re-emphasizing our commitment to the customer experience and enhancing our analytics function to ensure we are offering products and services that appeal to today’s and tomorrow’s customers.”

Hrabak is Signet’s chief operations officer and has been with the company 30 years, starting in 1987 as a merchandise buyer.

When asked when his retirement will be effective, Signet Vice President of Corporate Affairs David Bouffard said that Hrabak has “committed to ensuring a smooth transition prior to departure.” 

After he leaves, the responsibility for IT modernization, transformational initiatives and operational efficiencies will fall to the new COO, Bryan Morgan, currently the company’s executive vice president of supply chain management and repair. Light said Morgan will work with Chief Information Officer Joseph Brenner to deliver against the company’s IT systems objectives.
Shake-Up at Signet: Two Big Retirements, New RolesSebastian Hobbs

Kochanek, meanwhile, is Signet’s executive vice president of North American store operations and also has been with the company for three decades, starting in 1986 as a store office manager.

Bouffard said Kochanek will remain with Signet until the spring.

As Hrabek and Kochanek exit, Signet is creating two new positions, president and chief customer officer, and chief retail insights and strategy officer.

Sebastian Hobbs, currently the managing director of the company’s U.K. division, has been promoted to the president and CCO role and will move from the United Kingdom to the Signet’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio.

He will report directly to Light and have global responsibility for leading all three of Signet’s customer-facing functions–store operations, merchandising and marketing–ensuring that customers have a “world-class experience,” Light said.

Hobbs, who has been with the company about six years, will continue to oversee the company’s operations in the United Kingdom, with Emma Hayward, the U.K. store operations director, being promoted to executive director of the U.K. division to support him.

Filling the new role of chief retail insights and strategy officer will be Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer George Murray.
Shake-Up at Signet: Two Big Retirements, New RolesGeorge Murray

In this new role, Murray also will report to Light and will focus on collecting and using retail and consumer data to drive strategy across the business. He also will continue to play a key role on the company’s executive committee.

Also on Tuesday, Signet announced that it has added an executive with digital expertise to its board, Brian A. Tilzer, the chief digital officer at CVS Health.

Bouffard said this a new board position; Tilzer is not replacing anybody.

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