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CHICAGO-Just one month after posting a $4.9 million loss, national jewelry retailer Whitehall Jewellers has shaken up its Board of Directors with the appointment of current director Steven J. Pully to the position as the company’s chairman of the Board, and the naming of Jean K. FitzSimon to senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.

Pully succeeds former board chairman Daniel Levy, who stepped down from that position but remains a board member. Levy has served as interim chairman since March 30 following the death of Hugh Patinkin, the company’s former chairman and chief executive officer.

Officials from Whitehall Jewellers did not return calls from GSR seeking comment.

The move comes just one month after the specialty jeweler posted a net loss of $4.9 million for the first quarter of 2005 in which net sales also declined 2.8% to $71 million from $73 million in the prior-year period. The losses follow a $3.7 million net loss in first quarter of 2004.

Pully, who served as the president of Newcastle Capital Management LP since January 2003 and has been with Newcastle Partners since December 2001, took over the company’s reins Tuesday after Levy announced that he was surrendering the chairmanship.

“I am excited about the opportunities for Whitehall and look forward to working with the Board and management to build on the strengths and traditions of the company,” Pully said in a statement released by the company. He also praised Levy’s “years of dedication to the Whitehall organization.”

FitzSimon served as the General Counsel and a principal with Bridge Associates LLC, a New York-based consulting firm, since 2002.

Whitehall operates 386 stores in 38 states and has locations in shopping centers under the names of Whitehall Co. Jewellers, Lundstrom Jewelers, and Marks Bros. Jewelers. Shares of the company’s stock, which dipped to $6.95 from $7.03 by noon Tuesday following the company’s announcement.

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