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HOUSTON (Profitable.com) The Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. (NYSE: MW), a leading specialty retailer of men’s apparel, reported that its board of directors has approved a succession plan which will bring about an orderly transition of executive leadership during fiscal 2011. The board emphasized that the executive leadership team, which has successfully managed the 37 year-old company through multiple economic cycles, will remain intact and will continue to exemplify the unique culture of Men’s Wearhouse.
The succession plan envisions that Douglas S. Ewert, the president and chief operating officer of the Company, will succeed George Zimmer, Men’s Wearhouse’s founder and chairman of the board and chief executive officer, as president and chief executive officer of the Company. Under the plan, Ewert, age 47, will become the president and chief executive officer in mid 2011, and Zimmer, age 62, will continue as executive chairman of the board of directors. Zimmer will assist Ewert in matters related to the strategic direction of the Company and he will continue to be involved in the Company’s marketing activities. Zimmer will remain a pivotal architect of the Company’s customer and employee oriented culture. After Ewert’s transition to president and chief executive officer, the chief operating officer position will not be filled.
Bill Sechrest, lead director of Men’s Wearhouse, said, “Our board has recognized that succession planning is an important part of any company’s corporate governance and this plan reflects a considered process over several years to accomplish the natural evolution of the Company’s outstanding management team.”
The board noted that the management team has successfully differentiated Men’s Wearhouse from the competition and that Ewert has played a key role in enhancing the performance of more than 1,200 stores in the United States and Canada. The company’s retail store operations — Men’s Wearhouse, Moore’s, and K&G — as well as the merchandising and supply chain functions, all currently report to Ewert. Sechrest added, “Doug has demonstrated an ability to inspire people and encourage them to work together. We’re pleased and excited that Doug will be leading our company with retail experience that spans 26 years.”
Zimmer, in commenting on the succession plan, stated, “We have over 16,000 employees that, once again, have made it possible for Men’s Wearhouse to be named to this year’s FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For. For the past 37 years, I have emphasized that continuity and culture are a vital part of our ability to serve customers. This orderly approach is designed to enhance both continuity and culture. I have worked very closely with Doug for over a decade and anticipate that we will continue to work closely together on a smooth transition during the coming year and beyond.”
When Ewert joined Men’s Wearhouse in 1995, the company operated 278 stores. In 1999, Ewert became vice president of merchandising and, in 2000, senior vice president of merchandising. He was promoted again in 2001 to become executive vice president and general merchandise manager of all retail brands. He was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2005, and advanced to president and chief operating officer of the Company in 2008.
Ewert concluded, “I’m honored and excited to be chosen by the board to lead the next chapter in this Company’s amazing story. I am looking forward to continue working closely with George and our outstanding leadership team for many more years to come.”
Management to Host Conference Call
Men’s Wearhouse will host an investor conference call on Friday, January 28, 2011 to discuss this announcement at 11:00 am Eastern Time (10:00 a.m. Central Time).
To access the conference call, dial 480-629-9772. To access the live webcast presentation, visit the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at www.menswearhouse.com. A telephonic replay will be available through February 4, 2011 by calling 303-590-3030 and entering the access code of 4405555#, or a webcast archive will be available free on the website for approximately 90 days.
About Men’s Wearhouse
Founded in 1973, Men’s Wearhouse is one of North America’s largest specialty retailers of men’s apparel with 1,213 stores. The Men’s Wearhouse, Moores and K&G stores carry a full selection of designer, brand name and private label suits, sport coats, furnishings and accessories and Men’s Wearhouse and Tux stores carry a limited selection. Tuxedo rentals are available in the Men’s Wearhouse, Moores and Men’s Wearhouse and Tux stores. Additionally, Men’s Wearhouse operates a global corporate apparel and workwear group consisting of TwinHill in the United States and Dimensions and Alexandra in the United Kingdom.
This press release contains forward-looking information. The forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be significantly impacted by various factors, including sensitivity to economic conditions and consumer confidence, possibility of limited ability to expand Men’s Wearhouse stores, possibility that certain of our expansion strategies may present greater risks, changes in foreign currency rates and other factors described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2010, subsequent Forms 10-Q.
For additional information on Men’s Wearhouse, please visit the company’s website at www.menswearhouse.com. The website for Dimensions is www.dimensions.co.uk and the website for Alexandra is www.alexandra.co.uk.