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Men's Wearhouse fires company founder

1:14 PM, Jun 19, 2013   |    comments
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Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer (CNNMoney)

(USA Today) -- Men's Wearhouse no longer likes the way George Zimmer looks.

Zimmer, the founder, chairman and the public face of the discount apparel chain, has been terminated by the company, according to a brief statement from the company.

Men's Wearhouse gave no reason for Zimmer's departure -- which surfaced on Wednesday, just hours before the company postponed its annual shareholders meeting. A company spokesman declined comment but said Zimmer's departure would not affect operations.

Since 1985, Men's Wearhouse TV ads featured the baritone-voiced Zimmer with his signature slogan: "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."

The former substitute school teacher built Men's Wearhouse from a lone Houston, Tex., store into one of the nation's largest men's specialty retailers, with 1,239 stores under the Men's Wearhouse, Moores, K&G and Tux brands.

Zimmer's ouster comes less than a week after Men's Wearhouse reported a 25% gain in first-quarter earnings on a 5% sales increase. After falling about 16% in 2012, shares were up about 20% so far this year before Wednesday's announcement. Shares were down 2% in mid-morning trading.

Zimmer, 64, served as CEO from 1991 until 2011, when he was named executive chairman. According to the company's latest proxy, he holds a 3.5% stake.

Zimmer earned nearly $2 million last year in pay, bonuses and other compensation. Men's Wearhouse will owe Zimmer $250,000 annually for four years under a licensing deal for his image in advertising and marketing efforts, according to the proxy. He's also due termination pay and benefits valued at about $2.7 million.

(USA Today)

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