Geiger served as CEO of Aeropostale from 1998 to 2010 and stayed on as chairman until 2012 when he left to become CEO of the cupcake bakery chain Crumbs. Geiger left Crumbs in December last year and Crumbs closed all stores and filed for bankruptcy in July.
“Julian’s previous service in the role of CEO combined with his passion for the Aeropostale brand make him an ideal choice to lead this organization,” said Aeropostale chair Karin Hirtler-Garvey. “Julian was the leader of Aeropostale’s strategic direction during a period of significant growth, and we are confident in his enthusiasm for the business, his understanding of today’s teen retail marketplace and his intuition regarding teen fashion. We are pleased to have Julian back to help guide Aeropostale, Inc. and further enhance each of the Company’s sales channels.”
Thomas Johnson started at Aeropostale as SVP and director of stores in 2001. He was promoted to EVP and COO in 2004 and served as co-CEO for most of 2010 until he assumed the full role in December that year. He has stepped down as CEO and will relinquish his seat on the board.
Hirtler-Garvey added, “During his tenure as CEO, Tom led the company’s strategy to increase its focus on fashion and better connect with today’s teen consumer. Tom’s leadership and commitment over the past 22 years has helped to establish Aeropostale as one of the leading teen retailers. On behalf of the board and the entire Aeropostale family, I would like to thank Tom for his many contributions in developing the Company’s brands and special culture.”
Aeropostale has been struggling for a couple years. In March the retailer reported a fourth-quarter loss of $70.3 million (hit by one-off charges of $43.3 million) with sales down 16 percent to $670 million. In May the company announced that it would close 125 of its P.S. from Aeropostale stores in hopes of saving $35 million a year. Later in May, Aeropostale reported a net loss of $76.8 million, including after-tax charges of $31.6 million. The retailer closed 18 of its full-line Aeropostale stores in the quarter.
Aeropostale operates about 900 Aeropostale stores and 100 P.S. from Aeropostale stores in the U.S.