Men's Wearhouse (MW) Board Fires Founder George Zimmer Hours Before Shareholder Meeting, Gives No Reason; Shareholder Meeting Canceled

  @MalikFromLA on June 19 2013 12:33 PM

The Men's Wearhouse Inc. (NYSE:MW) announced Wednesday it's terminated founder George Zimmer as executive chairman yet gave no reason for Zimmer's departure. The company subsequently postponed the annual shareholder meeting shortly before its scheduled start time at 11 a.m. PDT.

The Houston-based retailer gave no reason for the firing, saying only in a statement that the "board expects to discuss with Mr. Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the company."

Following the termination, the company's founder told CNBC, "Over the past several months I have expressed my concerns to the board about the direction the company is currently heading. Instead of fostering the kind of dialogue in the boardroom that has in part contributed to our success, the board has inappropriately chosen to silence my concerns through termination as an executive officer."

Men's Wearhouse will formally renominate its existing directors without Zimmer on hand, once a new meeting date is scheduled. The company goes on to state that Men's Wearhouse will file a supplement to its Securities and Exchange Commission proxy statement and commence a search for a new executive chairman.

As of 11:45 EDT the menswearhouse.com homepage still displayed Zimmer as "The Man Behind the Brand" and its "About" section had yet to be updated.

The website's timeline shows that Zimmer, whose pay was listed as $1.98 million in 2012, handed over the role of CEO to Douglas Ewert in 2011 and remained as the executive chairman and the face and voice of the company.

Shares have soared lately. From March 4 to Tuesday's closing price, the stock climbed 34 percent.

On June 13, shares gained 3.96 percent to $37.00 in pre-market trading. The company reported first quarter net profit of $33.1 million, or $0.65 a share, up from $26.9 million, or $0.52 a share in the same period last year and topped Reuters' forecast of a profit of $0.55 a share for the quarter.

Join the Discussion