If 2011 was hard on Urban Outfitters, what with the Navajo-undies-lawsuit and falling stock price, then 2012 is shaping up to be an even bigger challenge: Yesterday, it was announced that the retailer's CEO Glen Senk had resigned, reports WWD.
It's a huge blow for the retailer, who was already losing investors’ confidence fast in 2011. Senk is very well-respected in the industry, and is credited with much of Urban's success from 2008 on, and his sudden departure from the company does not bode well for Urban's future--nor it's stock price: When news broke about his resignation yesterday, Urban's stock fell $4.15, or 14.1 percent, to $25.26.
Senk will be succeeded by Urban Outfitters' founder and president Richard Hayne, and will remain in a consultancy role for an "unspecified period." No word yet on where Senk is going, though a source has it that he has in fact taken another job--and that the new job "could have a position for [Senk's husband and Anthrpologie buyer Keith Johnson.]" WWD points out that Talbots Inc. and Apple, are among the retail companies currently looking for CEOs--but name them as unlikely choices for Senk. He is also close friends with Tory Burch, and is on the board of the designer’s company, which WWD says, is looking to expand and potentially go public, providing a possible role for Senk. Others have it that he "resigned to go to a small company that’s based in New York.”
Whatever the case, one thing's for sure: Senk's departure has sent shock waves through the financial community. "It sort of comes out of nowhere,” said Michael Dart, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon Associates. “It’s a very big surprise,” Robin Murchison, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, agreed. What this means for Senk's, and Urban's future, well, we'll just have to stay tuned.
UPDATE: Looks like Senk left Urban for a glittering future--quite literally. He will become David Yurman's new CEO, effective February 27, reports WWD.