American Eagle Outfitters has named Jay L. Schottenstein, executive chairman of the board, as the company’s interim CEO. Schottenstein takes over for Robert Hanson, who is leaving the company.
Hanson’s exit follows disappointing third-quarter results, which Hanson referred to as “unsatisfactory and not consistent with [the company’s] objectives.” Consolidated comparable sales for the quarter decreased 5%, compared to a 10% increase last year, while gross profit dropped 21% to $299 million and 670 basis points to 34.9% of revenue, primarily as the result of higher promotional activity and the deleverage of rent on negative comparable sales
The board will initiate a search for a permanent CEO. Meanwhile, Roger S. Markfield has agreed to postpone his retirement and will continue in his current role as vice chairman and executive creative director.
The company added that it continues to expect to report fourth quarter 2013 EPS in line with the outlook provided on Jan. 9.
“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Robert for his contributions during his tenure and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Schottenstein. “I look forward to working closely with Roger and our talented team to capitalize on the significant potential of our brands and to position the company for growth and long-term success.”
Schottenstein has served as executive chairman since the beginning of fiscal 2012 and as chairman of the company since March 1992, and previously held the role of CEO from March 1992 until December 2002.
Roger Markfield joined the company in 1993 and has provided the creative vision for American Eagle Outfitters since that time. He has served as a director since 1999.