OPERATIONS

Men’s Wearhouse Zimmer fires back at board on firing

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — George Zimmer, the founder and pitchman of Men’s Wearhouse, wasted no time in firing back at the company that fired him as executive chairman on Wednesday morning. In a statement released to CNBC, Zimmer suggested that disagreements with the company’s board led to his abrupt termination:

"Over the last 40 years, I have built MW into a multi-billion dollar company with amazing employees and loyal customers who value the products and service they receive at MW,” Zimmer stated. “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 through termination as an executive officer.”

Men’s Wearhouse announced Zimmer’s termination early Wednesday morning. In a terse statement, the company gave no reason for Zimmer’s dismissal, and said the board expects to discuss with Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of "his ongoing relationship" with the company.

Zimmer, 64, has long been the marketing face of he company – with his signature “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it” slogan and personable, easy-going manner.

Industry analysts found the timing of Zimmer’s firing strange as it occurred on the morning of the same day that the company’s annual shareholder meeting had been scheduled to take place. As part of its Wednesday announcement, Men’s Wearhouse said it will postpone the 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, which was founded by Zimmer in 1973, operates more than 1,100 stores, under its namesake, Moores and K&G banners.

In 2011, Zimmer, who is Men’s Wearhouse’s seventh largest shareholder, handed over the CEO reins of the company to then-COO Douglas Ewert. The retailer recently reported that its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 23% percent, helped by stronger profit margins and an earlier prom season.

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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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OPERATIONS

Starbucks counts calories

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle — Starbucks Coffee Company will start including calorie information on menu boards in all U.S.-based corporate and licensed stores on June 25. The retailer will post calorie counts to accompany each beverage listed on the menu boards, as well as on tags to accompany food in the bakery case. All calorie counts will reflect the item as made by standard recipe and will not include potential extra calories resulting from whipped cream, different types of milk or sweetener, or other customer options.

“Menu-labeling is yet another step to extend our commitment to wellness, ensuring our customers and partners (employees) have the information they need to make informed decisions and understand all the ways that they can customize their Starbucks beverages to be within their desired calorie range,” said Mary Wagner, senior VP of global R&D at Starbucks.

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