Three Abercrombie Execs Battling for CEO Role

by Harry Sheff


Five months after Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries left the company, the trio of executives the board named to serve as interim leaders is reportedly battling for a permanent chief executive role.

Jeffries, who reinvented the 122-year-old company as a logo-obsessed teen retailer, served as CEO from 1992 until last December.

Executive chairman Arthur Martinez created the office of the chairman in December, consisting of COO Jonathan Ramsden, Abercrombie brand president Christos Angelides and Hollister brand president Fran Horowitz. Bloombergreports that the board would prefer to hire internally and that Ramsden, Angelides and Horowitz are the top contenders.

However, the board has retained Spencer Stuart, an executive-search consultancy, to scout for external candidates as well.

“We’re looking for a very clear strategic perspective,” Martinez told Bloomberg. “We’re moving forward as aggressively as seems prudent. And when we’re ready to make an announcement, we’ll do it.”

Abercrombie & Fitch, like the similarly troubled American Apparel, is trying to reinvent itself. It nominated four women to its board a year ago and has publicly vowed to end its controversial ‘appearance and sense of style’ rules for hiring sales people.

The company operates 799 stores in the United States and 170 stores across Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East under the Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie kids and Hollister Co. brands.