Men’s Wearhouse Inc. said Wednesday in an abrupt statement that it was removing founder George Zimmer as executive chairman, without offering a reason for the dismissal.
Zimmer, who built Men's Wearhouse from one small Texas store in 1973 to one of the nation's largest men's clothing retailers, appeared in the company's commercials, famously saying "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."
The chain postponed its annual shareholders' meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, so it could re-nominate board members without Zimmer present. The company also said it expects to discuss "the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the company."
The company, which runs its Men's Wearhouse stores as well as Moores and K&G outlets, has 1,143 retail stores in addition to a business making corporate clothing and uniforms in the U.S. and Britain.
In the past year, the stock has risen more than 30 percent, and earlier this month, the retailer said its revenue for the first quarter increased 5.1 percent to $616.5 million.
Men’s Wearhouse stock quickly dropped nearly 7 percent shortly after trading opened in New York, but recovered after about an hour to a 2 percent drop, or $36.59 a share.
At this time, the Men's Wearhouse website still has a page dedicated to Zimmer, "the man behind the brand," with YouTube videos and an "ask George" feature.