Men's Wearhouse's George Zimmer has been fired, according to new reports. The famous Men's Wearhouse founder, whose guttural rendition of the company' slogan "you're going to like the way you look" became interchangeable with the identity of the brand, has been let go for seemingly no apparent reason.
For Men's Wearhouse, Zimmer was an integral visual and vocal component of the company. Nonetheless, in a tight-lipped press release issued today, June 19, Men's Wearhouse's board of directors revealed that they had fired the company's executive chairman. Zimmer's abrupt dismissal, which occurred on the same day the company's shareholder meeting was set to take place, came as a shock to shareholders and market analysts. "This is very rare to fire a founder," said Eleanor Bloxham, CEO of The Value Alliance. "Founders are generally entrenched in the company." And so Zimmer was. Having turned Men's Wearhouse, once a small Texan store with a cigar box as a cash register, into one of North America's most extensive menswear outlets, Zimmer was, up until this morning, promoted on the clothier's website as "the man behind the brand." Despite transferring his CEO title to Douglas Ewert in 2011, Men's Wearhouse and George Zimmer were always, in the public's perception, inextricably linked.
Watch George Zimmer Talk About How He Came Up With His Company's Famous Slogan
So why was Zimmer fired from Men's Wearhouse, especially considering that the company generated $2.48 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year? Although Men's Wearhouse didn't give any concrete reasons for the firing in its press release, one analyst, Richard Jaffe, believes that Zimmer's departure is a direct result of the former founder's constant clashes with the board. "We believe that despite Zimmer's planned transition to a smaller role at the company, he had difficulty letting go of the reins and the leadership of the business," Jaffe told the media. "We believe that this led to a conflict with the board and his subsequent termination." But although Men's Wearhouse executives made the decision to remove Zimmer, the board vowed to continue talks with the television personality regarding "his ongoing relationship" with the company.
Following George Zimmer's firing from Men's Wearhouse, shares of the California-based company dropped more than 2 percent, or 80 cents, in morning trading. Men's Wearhouse, whose success, most believe, was spearheaded by Zimmer's "you're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it" slogan, is also the owner of Moores and K&G retail chains.