Former J. Hilburn CEO and co-founder Veeral Rathod to spur brand growth
DALLAS, Texas (May 8, 2019) – Spence Diamonds, a leader in the lab-grown diamond retail sector, has named entrepreneur Veeral Rathod its new CEO. Rathod will lead the company from its Dallas offices.
Vancouver-based Spence was the first brick-and-mortar diamond retailer in North America to focus its business on its proprietary lab-grown Artisan Created DiamondsTM, which are physically, chemically and optically identical to mined diamonds, while also selling the earth-mined counterparts side by side.
Rathod, who has been with the company since September 2018, was brought on to lead marketing and brand transformation as CMO and to learn the business while being groomed to take the reins of the company.
“Elevating Veeral to CEO is the culmination of the plan we’ve had for him since day one,” said Spence Executive Chairman Eric Lindberg. “He brings not only a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit to the company as we expand, but also a strong background in customization, salesforce management, brand building, innovation and customer experience.”
Prior to joining Spence, Rathod served as CEO at J. Hilburn, the world’s first custom men’s lifestyle brand, which he co-founded in 2007 and ran through April 2018. The company received coverage in national media, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, as a pioneer in omni-channel retail, connecting with clients through personal stylists, digital platforms and physical retail stores.
“Just as we reimagined the luxury menswear space, my vision for Spence is to transform the diamond retail space through education about lab-grown diamonds, which are increasingly becoming the stone of choice for millennials who want value, sustainability and ethical production methods,” said Rathod. “Through our in-store experience, 80% of our customers choose lab-grown over earth-mined diamonds once they understand the merits of both options. We truly believe that lab diamonds will transform this industry, and we want to stay at the forefront of this change as we expand our presence in the U.S. and Canada.”
In addition to his experience in consumer retail and luxury goods, Rathod also has extensive experience in finance, having served as vice president at Greenhill Cogent and as an M&A analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston, Technology Group.
He is a St. Mark’s School of Texas alum and holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
About Spence Diamonds
Founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Spence Diamonds has been in the diamond business for 40 years and is the only diamond retailer to showcase lab-grown Artisan Created DiamondsTM side by side with earth-mined diamonds. With stores featuring up to 2,500 engagement ring designs in open display cases for customers to easily try on, the Spence model is built on transparency, choice and customization. Spence’s Gemological Institute of America (GIA)-trained diamond consultants offer an unbiased, immersive education about each diamond’s origins as well as cut, color, clarity, size, setting and style. Each Spence ring is custom made and handcrafted. Spence has eight Canadian stores in addition to U.S. locations in Austin, Dallas and Plano, Texas; Scottsdale, Arizona; and San Jose, California.