Men’s Warehouse fired founder after he tried to retake control of company
(Reuters) – Men’s Wearhouse Inc <MW.N> said it fired founder and Executive Chairman George Zimmer after he pushed to take the company private and effectively demanded to be reinstated as the sole decision maker at the clothing chain.
Zimmer opposed a potential sale of the retailer’s K&G fashion chain and instead argued for a risky sale of the whole company to an investment group, the board said in a statement.
He also clashed with the board over executive compensation and other operational matters at the company he founded 40 years ago, the board said.
Zimmer, the chief executive until two years ago, had raised concerns over successor Doug Ewert’s compensation, which was more than doubled this year, sources close to the former executive chairman told Reuters.
“Mr. Zimmer eventually refused to support the team unless they acquiesced to his demands,” the board said.
It argued that taking the company private would be risky as it would entail taking on heavy debt.
Zimmer, who is known to U.S. TV audiences for his advertising catch phrase “you’re gonna like the way you look – I guarantee it,” was fired last week. He quit the board on Monday.
The board, populated by some directors Zimmer has known for decades, told him of the decision the day they announced the firing, the sources said.
(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Rodney Joyce)
[Men’s Warehouse founder George Zimmer via Flickr user Mays Business School, creative commons licensed]