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Former Aeropostale CEO returns to role

Mall-based specialty retailer Aeropostale has appointed Julian R. Geiger as CEO, effective immediately — a role he previously held until 2010. Geiger succeeds Thomas P. Johnson, a former Brooks Brother executive who replaced Geiger after he left.

In 2011, Geiger was appointed president and CEO of Crumbs Bake Shop. He resigned from Crumbs at the end of December 2013, and rejoined the Aeropostale board in May, and will remain a member.

In a statement, Aeropostale's board of directors said that they and Johnson mutually agreed that it was time for him to step down. Johnson has reportedly agreed to remain available to the company during the transition.

“Julian's previous service in the role of CEO combined with his passion for the Aeropostale brand make him an ideal choice to lead this organization,” Karin Hirtler-Garvey, chairperson of Aeropostale's board, said. “Julian was the leader of Aeropostale's strategic direction during a period of significant growth, and we are confident in his enthusiasm for the business, his understanding of today's teen retail marketplace and his intuition regarding teen fashion. We are pleased to have Julian back to help guide Aeropostale, Inc. and further enhance each of the company's sales channels.”

"I am incredibly honored to have served as CEO of Aeropostale and worked with such an amazing team of people who are as passionate about the company as I am,” Johnson said. “Having spent more than half of my retail career at Aeropostale, it has been incredibly rewarding to see the company grow from a few domestic stores to a global business. I am confident that the strength of the Aeropostale brand and the transformational initiatives we have executed over the past year, including the recent financing and comprehensive cost reduction plan, have set a strong path for Aeropostale to compete successfully in an evolving teen retail market."

"My decision to return to Aeropostale to be its CEO is one that was easy to make," Geiger added. "The opportunity for sales and profit growth; the ability to reinforce the company's special culture; and the chance to work closely with, and influence, the management team and the field organization combine to create a compelling and dynamic challenge. It is with enormous excitement that I prepare to lead the Aeropostale team into a future filled with optimism and opportunity."

For the second quarter of fiscal 2014, net sales decreased 13% to $396.2 million, from $454 million a year ago. Comparable sales, including the e-commerce channel, for the second quarter decreased 13% compared to the corresponding 13-week period ended August 3, 2013. The company will report complete second quarter earnings Thursday, August 21, after market close.