Wilsons Leather CEO to Resign

Minneapolis Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc. said Friday its chief executive Michael Searles will resign, on or about Thursday.

Searles, 58, will provide consulting services to the company for six months. He became CEO in December 2004. The company said in a statement Searles decided for both personal and professional reasons that the time is right for a leadership transition.

Wilsons has faced declining sales for years, which has been exacerbated by a weak retail environment.

In February the company said it would close the majority of its 260 mall locations and cut more than 1,000 jobs in an effort to improve performance.

In March, the company said its fiscal 2007 net loss widened to $96.8 million, or $2.46 per share, from a loss of $33.1 million, or 85? per share in the prior year. Revenue fell 13% to $280.4 million from $321.3 million.

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