Men’s Wearhouse founder and ousted executive chairman George Zimmer released an open letter late Wednesday in which he addressed the manner in which the board portrayed him in a statement yesterday.
Zimmer flatly denies the board’s claims that he was an obstinate former CEO, determined to regain absolute control by pushing for the company to go private.
“The reality is that over the past two years, and particularly over recent months, I believe that the board and management have been eroding the principles and values that have made the Men’s Wearhouse so successful for all stakeholders,” said an embattled Zimmer.
Zimmer goes on to explain that while he does not believe taking the Men’s Wearhouse private is the best course of action, he thought it would be to the company’s benefit to consider selling the the K&G division, including the possibility of a going private transaction.
“Earlier this year, concerned with the board’s response to the short term pressures of Wall Street, I encouraged the board to at least study a broader range of strategic alternatives beyond simply selling," added Zimmer. "Rather than thoughtfully evaluating the idea or even checking the market to see what value might be created through such strategic alternatives, the board quickly and without the assistance of financial advisers simply rejected the idea, refused to even discuss the topic or permit me to collect and present to the board any information about its possibilities and feasibility and instead took steps to marginalize and then silence me.”
One week ago, on June 19, the board released a short, terse statement announcing its decision to terminate Zimmer and offering no further details. Details have since began emerging as Zimmer offered an initial statement and the board a longer statement that gave insight into a contentious boardroom and painted Zimmer as someone determined to reclaim total control of the company.
Click here to read Zimmer’s letter in its entirety.