January 13, 2010 / 11:03 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Zale CEO, others quit amid losses; shares slide

* Theo Killion, president, named interim CEO

* CEO, other resignations effective immediately

* Chief Merchandising Officer, Chief Store Officer quit

* Shares fall 10 percent in aftermarket trade

NEW YORK, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Struggling jewelry chain Zale Corp ZLC.N said on Wednesday that its chief executive officer and other top executives have left the company in a management shakeup designed to “help return the company to profitability.”

Zale said that in addition to CEO Neal Goldberg, Chief Merchandising Officer Mary Kwan and Chief Stores Officer William Acevedo have also quit, effective immediately.

Shares were down 33 cents, or 10.2 percent in after hours trading.

Zale, whose store chains include Zales Jewelers stores in the United States and Peoples Jewellers in Canada, said its board had selected its president, Theo Killion, to serve as interim CEO.

Killion joined Zale in 2008 and previously held senior management positions at companies such as Tommy Hilfiger and Limited Brands Inc LTD.N .

The news comes less than a week after the chain announced that sales at its stores open at least a year, or same-store-sales, had fallen 12 percent in November and December.

That performance contrasts with the 12 percent gain in same-store-sales over the same period reported on Tuesday by its more upscale rival Tiffany & Co. (TIF.N)

The retailer has reported losses in seven of the last eight quarters. (Reporting by Phil Wahba)

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