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Raff Thinks Better of Whitehall Job

The jewelry seller's new CEO resigns before she even starts.
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Beryl Raff's days of running

Whitehall Jewellers


are done before they even got started.

The jewelry seller received a letter from Raff Wednesday saying she's resigning from the chief executive post she agreed to take less than a month ago. Raff was expected to start full-time with the company and join its board in mid-September.

Whitehall said Raff's letter indicated that she plans to return the compensation she already received. The company is studying its legal options.

At the same time, the Chicago-based retailer said it believes it needs new capital to fund its operations. The company is reviewing its financial situation "in light of current and forecasted operating results and management changes."

Whitehall is evaluating its various alternatives, which could include raising additional debt or equity. The company is asking for temporary extensions of payments from some of its key suppliers and "has also slowed its accounts payable schedules generally."

If Whitehall can't get added financing or boost its liquidity, it might have to pursue some type of restructuring. Additionally, the company doesn't expect to be in a position to file its 10-Q on a timely basis, but it is predicting a loss for the fiscal second quarter.

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Whitehall said last month that Raff, a former jewelry executive with




J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Report



, would take over as the company's CEO.

Former Whitehall CEO Hugh Patinkin died earlier this year.