Men's Wearhouse ousts founder Zimmer as executive chairman


Apparel retailer Men's Wearhouse ousted Executive Chairman George Zimmer, who founded the company 40 years ago, sending its shares down as much as 6 percent in early trade.

The company, which gave no reason for the termination, also postponed its annual shareholder meeting scheduled for Wednesday to renominate the existing slate of directors without Zimmer.

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"The board expects to discuss with Mr. Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the company," Men's Wearhouse said in a statement on Wednesday.

Company spokesman Ken Dennard said he had no comment beyond what was in the statement.

Men's Wearhouse, founded in 1973, operates more than 1,100 stores under the Men's Wearhouse, Moores and K&G banners.

It reported higher-than-expected results in its most recent quarter, with sales jumping more than 5 percent to $616.5 million. The company had sales of $2.38 billion in 2012.

"I founded this company 40 years ago on the belief that employees should enjoy coming to work every day," Zimmer said in a January 17 statement after Fortune magazine included the company on its list of "100 best companies to work for."

Zimmer, 64, was president from 1974 to 1997 and chief executive from 1991 until June 2011 when he became executive chairman.

Zimmer has appeared in his own commercials since 1985, demonstrating the authenticity of the brand and is known for his famous line: "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."

He was an independent director of for-profit education provider Apollo Group Inc from 2006 until March 21 this year.

Men's Wearhouse shares were down about 1 percent $37.18 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)