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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Virginia Drosos, Signet Jewelers

The CEO of Signet Jewelers, which owns KAY Jewelers, Zales, and Jared, talks about increasing revenue to $7.8 billion, assuming a nearly 10 percent share of the market, and more.
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Virginia Drosos

As CEO of the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer, a position she was appointed to in 2017, Gina Drosos leads an organization of nearly 30,000 whose brands include KAY Jewelers, Zales, Jared, and more. Under her leadership, Signet’s market capitalization quadrupled from less than $1 billion at the start of the pandemic to $3.9 billion today. The former president and CEO of Assurex Health and group president of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, her influence extends beyond business; earlier this year, Drosos was appointed to the executive committee of the U.S. Golf Association. She says she loves seeing the fresh thinking happening in retail and the jewelry industry. “I’m very excited about Gen Z’s values and relentless focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, and authenticity—all things to make the world a better place,” she says.

Education

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

Birthplace

Macon, Georgia 

First Job

“My first ‘job’ was helping my grandmother at the golf driving range she owned and operated. Every morning, we picked up golf balls from the night before, washed them, and filled the buckets before opening time. I learned the importance of teamwork, being on time and ready for work, greeting customers by name, and serving them promptly. As I went on to high school jobs, I carried these same lessons with me as a sports camp counselor, waitress, and retail cashier.”

Best Advice

“Play to your strengths and build a diverse team around you. We all have skills and talents that we bring to every situation—lean into those. The more you grow and develop them, the stronger a leader you can become. Recognizing others’ unique ‘superpowers’ is equally important. Building a diverse team ensures that you maximize your collective talents and that you can pivot as needed.”

Proud Moment

Over the last 12 months, there have been significant macroeconomic headwinds and international impacts. But our team pivoted quickly in the face of all these challenges, enabling us to deliver on our purpose of inspiring love with our customers and on our commitments to our shareholders. Our team and the culture we’ve built have become a true source of competitive advantage, driving our results. We delivered $7.8 billion of revenue in fiscal 2023, up slightly versus fiscal 2022, and we estimate that we outpaced category growth, driving our U.S. market share to 9.7 percent and, for the fourth year in a row, we were named a Great Place to Work-certified company. Together, we have established Signet as a leading and differentiated retailer, delivering consistent returns in good times and challenging times. Our team’s resilience continues to inspire me.”

Local Fare

“I love the Tango Room in the Design District. It has a speakeasy vibe. The deviled egg caviar, filet, and lobster mac are to die for. And the wine list is truly special. They live up to their vision of offering ‘steakhouse classics through a modern, globally curious lens.'”

Key Strategies

“The most rewarding challenges I’ve faced—and the biggest business successes—were the ones that demanded transformational change.”   

First Car

“In high school, I drove a white AMC Rambler named Rosy. She was almost 20 years old and on her last leg. I referred to her as a ‘classic,’ but my friends called her ‘The Bomb’—and not in the cool sense. Nonetheless, she was mine!” 

Hobby/Passion

“I love being outdoors, surfing on the lake, hiking, walking on the Katy trail with my dogs, or playing golf. Being immersed in an activity like that helps me relax and rejuvenate.”

I Collect

“Friends and experiences, not things. I learn so much from every interaction. I’m part of all that I have met. As Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote in his poem Ulysses, ‘I am a part of all that I have met.’ And I’m looking forward to collecting many more experiences and learnings over time.”

Go-To Advisor

“I have several mentors I can call on in tough situations when the way forward is ambiguous. They are each very helpful but in different ways. The common thread is that they don’t give me advice; they ask me questions that make me think and see things differently and often more clearly.”

Fun Fact

“This summer, my family and I hiked Jostedalsbreen in Norway, the largest glacier in mainland Europe. It was quite the adventure and the trip provided a unique view of the world’s breathtaking natural beauty.”

Destinations of Choice

“For business, I visit our stores as often as I can. I love the pulse of the retail environment and being close to our team and customers. Personally, there’s nothing better to me than a fall Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium, home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs. I am the proud mom of two recent UGA grads, and I love attending games together.”

Guilty Pleasure

“Homemade chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven—when they are still gooey.”

Future Forecast

“I love seeing the diversity and fresh thinking happening in retail and the jewelry industry. I’m very excited about Gen Z’s values and relentless focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability, and authenticity—all things to make the world a better place and make us better companies for our customers and our team members. 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.”


This Q&A is extended content from Dallas 500, a special edition produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential business leaders. Visit www.dallas500.com for details.

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