Men’s Wearhouse Inc. said Wednesday that it was removing founder George Zimmer as executive chairman, without offering a reason for the dismissal.
The chain, which Zimmer launched in 1973, also said it was postponing its annual shareholders meeting from Wednesday so it could renominate its board of directors without Zimmer.
The company said it expected to discuss “the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the company.”
Shares of Men’s Wearhouse, which runs its eponymous stores as well as Moores and K&G outlets, quickly dived nearly 7% shortly after trading opened Wednesday in New York, but after an hour had recovered to a more modest 2% drop, or $36.59 a share.
In the last year, the stock has risen more than 30%. The chain has offices in both Fremont, Calif., and Houston.
The company has 1,143 stores as well as a business making corporate clothing and uniforms in the U.S. and Britain. Zimmer was known for starring in television commercials, marketing Men’s Wearhouse suits with the catchphrase: “You’re going to love the way you look. I guarantee it.”
[Updated, June 19, 7:30 a.m.: The Men’s Wearhouse website features a substantial section dedicated to Zimmer, with links to his YouTube videos and an “Ask George” section for questions. Zimmer has appeared in the company’s commercials since 1985.
Earlier this month, the retailer said its revenue for the first quarter ended May 4 increased 5.1% to $616.5 million. Net income, it said, rose to $33.1 million, or 65 cents a share, from $26.9 million, or 52 cents a share the prior year.]
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