Abercrombie & Fitch Co. CEO Michael Jeffries has resigned from his position and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Jeffries had served as CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch since February 1992.
The Board has begun the search for Jeffries’s successor and is working with an executive search firm to identify and evaluate potential internal and external candidates, according to a company statement.
As part of the retailer’s senior leadership changes, current Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Arthur Martinez, will become Executive Chairman. The Board has established an Office of the Chairman including Martinez and three other executives:
Jonathan Ramsden, Chief Operating Officer;
Christos Angelides, Brand President of Abercrombie & Fitch; and
Fran Horowitz, Brand President of Hollister.
The Office of the Chairman will oversee the company’s strategic direction and be responsible for managing day-to-day operations until a new CEO is appointed.
The reasons for Jeffries’s departure are not clear, but the company recently has struggled to meet financial expectations. The Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Q3 financial report revealed that net sales decreased 11.8%, leading the company to lower its fiscal year earns per share guidance from a prior range of $2.15 to $2.35 to a new range of $1.50 to $1.65.
“It has been an honor to lead this extraordinarily talented group of people,” Jeffries said in a statement. “I am extremely proud of your accomplishments. I believe now is the right time for new leadership to take the company forward in the next phase of its development.”