J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler Fires Himself, Will Remain Board Chairman

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Two months after J. Crew sent its creative director packing, the struggling retailer has announced yet another shakeup in its efforts to turn things around: After 14 years on the job, Mickey Drexler will be stepping down from his position as CEO while remaining chairman of J. Crew’s board.

Drexler — who recently admitted that the company made a big mistake by banking on its elitist image — will be succeeded by James Brett, who had been the President of specialty home furnishings at West Elm. He’ll move into the position in July and will also join the board of directors.

“This is an exciting time for J.Crew as we continue to make significant changes to position our company for long-term success,” said Drexler in a company statement. “As Chairman and an owner of the Company, it is my responsibility to focus on the future of J.Crew and find the right leadership to execute on our strategic plans.”

Part of that plan includes eliminating 250 jobs to cut costs and shifting away from $800 skirts and the company’s “elitist attitude” of the past.

“We gave a perception of being a higher-priced company than we were — in our catalog, online, and in our general presentation,” Drexler said recently. “Very big mistake.”

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