George Zimmer, the founder and former executive chairman of The Men’s Wearhouse — and the public face of the compiany in its commercials — who was fired by the company’s board recently, fought back this week with an open letter to the company’s emloyees, according to Yahoo Finance.
According to the story, Zimmer writes, in part:
Over the years, as CEO, I consistently encouraged the company to take a longer term approach of investing most of our profits back in the company, delivering value to our customers and building a loyal and dedicated workforce totally committed to service, rather than pursuing shorter term strategies based on financial engineering. Inside the Boardroom, we often had spirited discussions about how best to achieve these objectives. Regardless of whether the Board eventually sided with my point of view or not, I believe this dialogue and discussion led to better decisions that contributed to the success of The Men’s Wearhouse.
Unfortunately, this dynamic seems to have changed.
Just one month after the directors unanimously nominated me for reelection to the Board, last week they abruptly fired me from my management role and postponed the Annual Stockholder Meeting so they could nominate a new slate of directors that excluded me. To justify their actions, they now have tried to portray me as an obstinate former CEO, determined to regain absolute control by pushing a going private transaction for my own personal benefit and ego. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality is that over the past two years, and particularly over recent months, I believe that the Board and management have been eroding the principles and values that have made The Men’s Wearhouse so successful for all stakeholders.
Zimmer ends his letter:
To be clear, at this point I have not concluded that taking The Men’s Wearhouse private is a better means of preserving the unique culture and values that have made the company so successful over the years. What I do know is that as a founder and large shareholder, I am greatly concerned about the future of the company if this culture and these values are lost, and believe that the Board should be open to at least consider the full range of possibilities that could optimize the future value of the company for all stakeholders.
To read all of Zimmer’s letter, please click on the link in our first paragraph, above.