Abercrombie & Fitch announced that Mike Jeffries will retire as CEO and a member of the board of directors, effective immediately. And so ends, Jeffries controversial career at the helm of the teen retailer.
Jeffries' role will be filled by multiple executives, chief among them Arthur Martinez, currently non-executive chairman of the board, who will become executive chairman. The board has also established an office of the chairman, which will include Martinez, COO Jonathan Ramsden, Abercrombie & Fitch brand president Christos Angelides and Hollister brand president Fran Horowitz. The group will oversee the strategic direction of the company and manage day-to-day operations until a new CEO is named.
"It is impossible to overstate Mike Jeffries' extraordinary accomplishments in building Abercrombie & Fitch to the iconic status the brand now enjoys. From a standing start two decades ago, his creativity and imagination were the driving forces behind the company's growth and success. Going forward, we are confident in our talented senior leadership team and the steps we are taking to revitalize our brands and business," said Martinez. "We are also confident that our search will identify a new leader with the skills and expertise to enable Abercrombie & Fitch to capitalize fully on its growth opportunities and build shareholder value."
Martinez has been in his current role as non-executive chairman since January 2014. Ramsden has been with the company for 6 years, while both Angelides and Horowitz joined the company in October of this year.
In recent years, Jeffries became known for controversial statement regarding Abercrombie & Fitch's target shopper, namely "cool, good-looking people."
Jeffries said in a statement that he believes the time is right for new leadership. Press release