George Zimmer Resigns From Men’s Wearhouse Board; Company Says He Wanted All The Power

Zimmer to MW: You can't fire me, I quit!

Zimmer to MW: You can’t fire me, I quit!

George Zimmer has emerged from what must have been a bit of a stewing session after getting fired from his position as executive chairman Men’s Wearhouse last week, the company he co-founded. He resigned from the company’s board of directors yesterday, effective immediately, saying he doesn’t like the way the company is going.

In his letter to the board, he says his firing shows the directors’ unwillingness to address his “growing concerns with recent board decisions and the strategic direction of the company,” reports Bloomberg News.

Insiders say he was cut from the company after butting heads with CEO Douglas Ewart over plans to sell apparel retailer K&G and buy back shares.

While he’s blaming the company’s leadership, the Men’s Wearhouse board is pointing fingers right back at Zimmer today, saying he wanted “full control of the company” and had flip-flopped on taking the company private, reports the Wall Street Journal. Apparently he’d been against it, and then changed his mind and argued for a sale.

“Mr. Zimmer had difficulty accepting the fact that Men’s Wearhouse is a public company with an independent board of directors and that he has not been the chief executive officer for two years,” the board said in a statement. “He advocated for significant changes that would enable him to regain control, but ultimately he was unable to convince any of the board members or senior executives that his positions were in the best interests of employees, shareholders or the company’s future.”

The board reiterated today that Zimmer had refused to support Ewert and other execs unless they agreed to his demands, and said it had made “considerable efforts” to keep Zimmer involved somehow. But because he wanted to be the “sole decision maker,” according to the board, he was shown the door.

Men’s Wearhouse Founder Zimmer Resigns From Board Over Strategy [Bloomberg]
Men’s Wearhouse: Zimmer Wanted ‘Full Control’ [Wall Street Journal]