by Stephen Garner

HanesBrands has announced that Gerald W. Evans Jr. has notified the company’s Board of Directors of his decision to retire at the end of the current fiscal year, which ends January 2, 2021.

Evans, 60, joined Hanes in 1983 and has played a critical role in the company’s growth, success and evolution. Since being appointed CEO in 2016, he has overseen the successful execution of a strategy focused on cash generation, channel and geographic diversification, omnichannel expansion, organic sales growth, and innovation leveraging brand building and the company’s global supply chain.

Under his leadership, the company has increased earnings per share, significantly strengthened its balance sheet, generated quarterly organic sales growth for more than 2 years, increased annual revenue to nearly $7 billion, and has generated a record $2.1 billion in cumulative operating cash flow over the past three years. Evans has guided rapid growth of the company’s international commercial operations, overseen the doubling of global Champion annual brand sales to nearly $2 billion, and championed increased consumer-directed sales with 25% of total revenue now occurring online or through brand stores.

“Gerald has been an invaluable member of the Hanes team during his 36 years of dedicated service,” said Ronald L. Nelson, chairman of the Hanes Board of Directors. “Under his leadership, the company has expanded its geographic footprint, broadened its portfolio of premium brand offerings, and pioneered product, process, and supply chain innovation, helping transform Hanes into the world’s largest everyday basic apparel company. We thank Gerald and appreciate his willingness to continue with the company through year-end to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.”

“After more than three and a half decades at Hanes, I am confident that now is the right time for the company to transition to its next generation of leadership,” Evans added. “Thanks to our team of hard-working employees around the world, we have created a strong foundation for sustainable success that is rooted in our customer-centric approach, agile business model and commitment to continuous improvement. I am confident that Hanes is well-positioned to achieve its full potential and am pleased to work alongside the rest of the Board and management team to provide a smooth handoff to our next CEO.”

The Board has commenced a search process to identify the company’s next CEO with the assistance of Russell Reynolds Associates, a leading independent executive search firm. The Board expects to consider both internal and external candidates.