Men’s Wearhouse said it terminated company founder and executive chairman George Zimmer on Wednesday and postponed its annual meeting.
No explanation was offered for Zimmer’s termination, but the company indicated the board of directors, "expects to discuss with Mr. Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the company."
Zimmer founded the company in 1973 and popularized the phrase, "I guarantee it," when in 1986 he began appearing regularly television commercials for the company. He built Men’s Wearhouse into one of the nation’s largest specialty retailers with 1,143 stores.
The company was scheduled to hold its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, June 19, but due to Zimmer’s termination said it would reschedule the event to allow time to nominate a slate of directors that excludes Zimmer.
"Over the last 40 years, I have built the Men's Wearhouse into a multibillion dollar company with amazing employees and loyal customers who value the products and service they receive at the Men's Wearhouse," said Zimmer in a statement. "Over the past several months, I have expressed my concerns to the board about the direction the company is currently heading. Instead of fostering the kind of dialogue in the boardroom that has, in part, contributed to our success, the board has inappropriately chosen to silence my concerns by terminating me as an executive officer."