Abercrombie & Fitch separates chairman, CEO roles

New Albany, Ohio - Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is separating its chairman and CEO roles and expanding its board's size to 12 members. The teen retailer is also terminating its shareholder rights plan.

Under the new arrangement, Michael Jefferies will remain a director and CEO, but will no longer serve as chairman, a position he has held since 1996.  The company named Arthur Martinez, the former CEO of Sears, Roebuck & Co., as non-executive chairman. Martinzez, along with Terry Burman and Charles Perrin, was one of three new board members named by the company. The appointments are effective immediately. (Burman is the former CEO of Signet Jewelers Ltd., and Perrin is the former chairman and CEO of Avon Products Inc.).

In other changes, Craig Stapleton, who has served as lead independent director since 2010, will no longer serve in that role but will continue as a director.

"I have strongly supported the significant corporate governance enhancements the company has made in the past few years, and I am thrilled by the announcements we are making today,” said Mike Jeffries, CEO. “Arthur Martinez brings extensive sector expertise, deep boardroom experience, and valuable perspectives to the new role of non-executive chairman. I am confident that he is the right choice to lead the board of Abercrombie & Fitch as we execute against our strategic plans and move in to the next phase of the company’s growth. Terry Burman and Charlie Perrin also bring extensive boardroom and retail experience and, along with Arthur, will be outstanding additions to the Abercrombie & Fitch board. I could not be more excited to welcome them to Abercrombie & Fitch.”

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