American Apparel has fired former CEO and Founder Dov Charney for reasons related to the terms of his employment agreement, according to a company statement. The retailer’s Board of Directors has appointed Paula Schneider as CEO, effective Jan. 5, 2015. Interim CEO Scott Brubaker will consult American Apparel and assist with the transition.
Prior to her appointment at American Apparel, Schneider served in executive roles at numerous retail and apparel companies, including BCBG Max Azria, Gores Group, Laundry by Shelli Segal and Warnaco.
“We're pleased that what we set out to do last spring — namely, to ensure that American Apparel had the right leadership — has been accomplished,” said Allan Mayer, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors at American Apparel. "We are confident that Paula Schneider has the skills and background to lead the company to long-term success."
The American Apparel Board of Directors suspended Charney from his position as CEO and President on June 18 for alleged misconduct and violations of the company policy. The company oversaw an internal investigation conducted by FTI Consulting into the allegations against Charney, which included misappropriation of funds and sexual misconduct. Based on the investigation, the company determined it wouldn’t be appropriate to reinstate Charney to his previous role. Charney had served as a consultant for the retailer while under suspension, but the relationship has since been terminated.
More than 30 executives asked the Board to reconsider the decision to terminate Charney, according to a letter obtained by Bloomberg News. Charney remains the retailer’s largest shareholder, holding a 43% stake in the company.
Charney issued a statement to numerous news outlets in response to his firing: “I'm proud of what I created at American Apparel and am confident that, as its largest shareholder, I will have a strong relationship with the company in the years ahead. Naturally, I am disappointed with the circumstances and my over 25 years of deep passion and commitment for American Apparel will always be the core DNA of the company. I wish the company continued success.”