Many teen retailers are hurting, and American Eagle Outfitters has decided to make some big changes to stop the bleed. The company announced that its CEO, Robert Hanson, is leaving the company after just two years at the helm. Executive Chairman of the Board Jay L. Schottenstein, who was CEO of the company from 1992 through 2002, will serve as interim CEO until the board finds a permanent replacement for Hanson. The change is effective immediately.
It seems not to matter that earlier this month, Jefferies analyst Randal Konik named Urban Outfitters and American Eagle his top two picks in the teen retail category for 2014. American Eagle, he said, showed a strong e-commerce business and management team. It seems the board did not agree with the latter point.
This isn’t the only change in management for the company. In early December American Eagle appointed Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch alum Chad Kessler as its new chief merchandising and design officer, effective Feb. 3. His predecessor, Fred Grover, is retiring.
In its fourth quarter update American Eagle reported net revenue of $882 million for the nine-week period that ended Jan. 4, versus $904 million for the same period in 2012, a 2 percent drop. The company’s third quarter earnings were down 68 percent from 2012.