American Eagle Outfitters CEO Robert Hanson Steps Down

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) CEO Robert Hanson is leaving the company, effective immediately. The teen clothing retailer made the announcement late Thursday and also said that Chairman and former CEO Jay Schottenstein will take on the role in the interim.

There's no word on why Hanson suddenly stepped down after only a little more than two years as the company's CEO. He was considered to be a rising star in the industry and many analysts seemed to be surprised by the shakeup.

"He had been implementing meaningful and positive changes to the business," Howard Tubin with RBC Capital Markets told the Los Angeles Times. "We are a fan of Mr. Hanson, and he was, generally speaking, liked by Wall Street."

Prior to joining AEO, Hanson worked at Levi Strauss & Co. in a variety of leadership roles across multiple brands from 1988 to 2011.

The company said it will start looking for a permanent replacement and also reaffirmed its outlook for fourth quarter earnings, which will be reported on March 11. It's been a tough year for American Eagle Outfitters, which recently announced that holiday sales slid 7 percent this year. The Pittsburgh-based chain has also logged three consecutive quarters of declining revenue.

American Eagle Outfitters shares fell 31 cents, or 2.1 percent to $14.31 during regular trading Wednesday and slipped 51 cents, or 4.6 percent, after hours.

For more see:
-this American Eagle press release
-this Los Angeles Times article

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