OPERATIONS

Men’s Wearhouse fires founder George Zimmer

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Fremont, Calif. — Men’s Wearhouse announced Wednesday that it has fired its founder and executive chairman George Zimmer; no reason was given for the sudden move.

Zimmer, who has long been the marketing face for the company – with his “You’re going to like the way you look; I guarantee it” slogan – apparently will have little to no ongoing dealings with the retailer. In its released statement, Men’s Wearhouse said the board expects to discuss with Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of "his ongoing relationship" with the company.

As part of its Wednesday announcement, Men’s Wearhouse said it will postpone its previously scheduled June 19 annual meeting so that it can re-nominate the existing slate of directors without Zimmer. The new meeting date has not yet been set.

Men’s Wearhouse operates namesake stores in addition to the Moores and K&G banners.

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RILA elects Sears president to its board

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. – The Retail Industry Leaders Association elected Ron Boire, president of Sears and Kmart, to its board of directors, during its semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The board also re-elected Home Depot chair and CEO Francis Blake, 7-Eleven president and CEO Joseph DePinto, Petco CEO James Myers and J.C. Penney CEO Myron Ullman.

“We are pleased to welcome Ron Boire to the board,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “His insight into the issues retailers face every day will bring added wisdom and foresight to this already stellar group. The contributions of this highly engaged group of retail executives sets RILA apart and allows us continue to deliver big wins for our members.”

The RILA board of directors is made up of chief executives from many of the United States’ largest retail companies which the association deems most innovative. The board meets in person twice a year to discuss issues facing the retail industry.

The trade association keeps itself at the forefront of issues pertinent to the retail industry, including tax reform, health care, labor and privacy, and has led numerous efforts to advance the industry’s public policy agenda. RILA’s current top public policy priority is passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would end what the association argues is the unfair advantage online-only retailers have over Main Street retailers as it relates to sales tax collection. The bill, which passed the U.S. Senate earlier this year with overwhelming bipartisan support, is currently under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Zimmer out at Men’s Wearhouse

BY CSA STAFF

Men’s Wearhouse said it terminated company founder and executive chairman George Zimmer on Wednesday and postponed its annual meeting.

No explanation was offered for Zimmer’s termination, but the company indicated the board of directors, "expects to discuss with Mr. Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the company."

Zimmer founded the company in 1973 and popularized the phrase, "I guarantee it," when in 1986 he began appearing regularly television commercials for the company. He built Men’s Wearhouse into one of the nation’s largest specialty retailers with 1,143 stores.

The company was scheduled to hold its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, June 19, but due to Zimmer’s termination said it would reschedule the event to allow time to nominate a slate of directors that excludes Zimmer.

"Over the last 40 years, I have built the Men’s Wearhouse into a multibillion dollar company with amazing employees and loyal customers who value the products and service they receive at the Men’s Wearhouse," said Zimmer in a statement. "Over the past several months, I have expressed my concerns to the board about the direction the company is currently heading. Instead of fostering the kind of dialogue in the boardroom that has, in part, contributed to our success, the board has inappropriately chosen to silence my concerns by terminating me as an executive officer."

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