Signet CEO Mark Light leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost three years on the job
  • Praise and thanks for Light
  • Gina Drosos taking over
  • Light spoke at length and said 115 words

(exechange) — Hamilton, Bermuda, July 17, 2017 — Mark Light, chief executive of Signet, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Signet Jewelers Limited in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, July 17, 2017, Mark S. Light leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the retailer of diamond jewelry in a surprising move after almost three years on the job, effective July 31, 2017.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Light’s duties are taken over by Gina Drosos, most recently President & CEO at Assurex Health.

Already a director

Drosos is already a director of Signet. Often a board member is a last resort, someone who is turned to in desperation when a company cannot find suitable candidates. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Drosos understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Signet’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“Given the Company’s positive direction and my need to address some health issues”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. Mark Light said: “Given the Company’s positive direction and my need to address some health issues, the Board and I agreed that it is a good time for a transition.”

Precise information about the future plans of Light was not immediately available.


Signet said: “Mark Light, who has served as CEO of Signet since 2014, has decided to retire after more than 35 years with the Company due to health reasons.”

Signet further said: “On July 13, 2017, Mr. Mark Light retired from the Board of Directors … of Signet Jewelers Limited … and his position as Chief Executive Officer, effective as of July 31, 2017.”

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Signet Jewelers Limited since November 2015.

Select holds 15.24 percent stake

Select Equity Group, Inc. reported a 15.24 percent stake in Signet Jewelers Limited as of March 30, 2017.

Chaired by Todd Stitzer

Signet Jewelers Limited is chaired by Todd Stitzer.

Todd Stitzer has been Chairman of Signet since June 2012.

On the job as CEO since 2014

Mark Light was appointed Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Company on November 1, 2014.

Light has held senior leadership positions with Signet and its Sterling Jewelers Division for over 25 years, having previously been President and Chief Operating Officer of Signet and Chief Executive Officer of the Sterling Jewelers Division since 2006.

Light also serves on the Board of Regis Corporation.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Mark Light’s imminent move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 30.2017 ($).