The Chief Executive Officer of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jefferies is stepping down from his role with immediate effect. He also leaves behind his position as a member of the board as the teen retailer announced Jeffries retirement today.

“It has been an honor to lead this extraordinarily talented group of people. I am extremely proud of your accomplishments,” said Jeffries in a statement. “I believe now is the right time for new leadership to take the Company forward in the next phase of its development.”

Mike Jeffries to retire from A&F with immediate effect

Arthur Martinez, A&F's current non-executive chairman of the board will become Executive Chairman , and the board has established an Office of The Chairman, which consists of Martinez, as well as Jonathan Ramsden, chief operating officer, Christos Angelides, brand president of A&F and Fran Horowitz, Brand President of Hollister.

Together, the Officer of the Chairman, led by Arthur Martinez, be responsible for the managing of the company's daily operations until a new CEO has been appointed. “It is impossible to overstate Mike Jeffries' extraordinary accomplishments in building Abercrombie & Fitch to the iconic status the brand now enjoys,” commented Martinez.

“From a standing start two decades ago, his creativity and imagination were the driving forces behind the company's growth and success. Going forward, we are confident in our talented senior leadership team and the steps we are taking to revitalize our brands and business.”

The board has started its search for Jeffries successor and has taken on a executive search firm to help locate the ideal candidate.“We are also confident that our search will identify a new leader with the skills and expertise to enable Abercrombie & Fitch to capitalize fully on its growth opportunities and build shareholder value,” concluded Martinez.

In the past Jeffries was responsible for A&F's ongoing brand development, which led to many controversies concerning the brand's campaigning and marketing ads featuring close to nude models selling the clothing to teenagers. However, since sales first began to take a sharp downturn turn in 2013, A&F has been attempting to turn around its brand image and reconnect with its target audience.

Following the announcement of Jeffries departure on Tuesday, company shares increased 6.2 percent to 27.98 dollars, conveying the general consensus of his exit.

 

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