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Business

Meet the Dallas 500: Virginia Drosos

The CEO of Signet Jewelers shares her best advice, what excites her about the future, and what industry trends she is seeing.
| |Illustrated by Andrea Chavez
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Illustration by Andrea Chavez

As CEO of Signet Jewelers, Gina Drosos runs the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry and the company behind giants such as Jared, Kay, and Zales, which it acquired for $1.4 billion in 2014. She took the helm in 2017 after leading genetic testing company Assurex Health and overseeing Procter & Gamble’s global beauty brands business, a $6 billion unit whose portfolio at the time included CoverGirl, Old Spice, and Olay. Under Drosos’ leadership, the segment grew from a $200 million to a $2.5 billion business. She divides her time between Zales’ headquarters at Cypress Waters in Coppell and Signet’s home base in Akron, Ohio.

Education: University of Pennsylvania (MBA), University of Georgia (BBA)

Birthplace: Atlanta

Best Advice: “Be a continual learner. Don’t focus on how fast you can move up; instead, focus on acquiring new experiences and learning new ways of seeing issues and opportunities. Ultimately, that will give you the perspective needed to make better decisions and be a better leader of people.”

Fun Fact: “I love to wake surf on the lake. Life doesn’t get any better than an afternoon on the water with friends and family.”

Toughest Challenge: “COVID has certainly presented us with challenges. At the same time, we learned a lot. One of our customers once said, ‘One of the great gifts of COVID is clarity.’ I agree. It has allowed people to think about the most meaningful people in our lives and how we celebrate them, and it also gave us clarity in our business on how and where to prioritize.”

Proud Moment: “Throughout the pandemic, our focus has been on the safety of our team and customers and the sustainability of our company for both the short and long-term. We pivoted quickly, reinvented ourselves, and created a truly connected-commerce way of doing business that has redefined the way customers shop. Our total sales at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2021 were up more than $400 million compared to two years prior, despite store reductions of more than 15 percent.”

Lessons Learned: “I’m very proud of our team because not one single person fell prey to the sense of doom that major, unexpected crises can easily create. To the contrary, we decided to lean in and speed up.”

Industry Trend: “We’re seeing many interesting trends in our business, but one that stands out is a rising tide of engagements. Our research indicates 15 percent of committed couples, or approximately 2.3 million couples, expected to get engaged during 2021—up high single digits compared to a typical pre-pandemic year.”

Future Forecast: “I’m excited about Gen Z’s values and relentless focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, authenticity—all things to make the world a better place. Their passion is already driving businesses to step up and enhance their focus on ESG. I’m thrilled by the discussions I have with our young professionals and customers; they are set on changing the world, and I’m planning to help pave the way!”

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