J.Crew’s CEO is stepping down less than two years into the job.
The troubled retailer revealed on Saturday that its board of directors had reached a mutual agreement with CEO James Brett to step down, effective immediately.
Brett’s responsibilities will be assumed by an Office of the CEO, comprised of four senior J.Crew executives who have significant operational and merchandising experience. They include: Michael Nicholson, president & chief operating officer; Adam Brotman, president & chief experience officer; Lynda Markoe, chief administrative officer; and, Libby Wadle, president of Madewell Brand. The Office of the CEO will manage the company’s operations as the board works to establish a permanent management structure.
“Jim’s passion and experience brought new energy to J.Crew and enhanced our ability to relate to a broad range of consumers, and we thank him for his hard work and thoughtful contributions to position our company for long-term success,” said the Board of Directors. “Building on Jim’s early progress, the leadership team remains committed to driving performance and results, as well as continuing to strengthen operations, enhance customer loyalty and extend brand reach.”
“Returning J.Crew to its iconic status required reinventing the brand to reflect the America of today with a more expansive, more inclusive fashion concept,” added Brett. “However, despite the recent brand relaunch already showing positive results, the Board and I were unable to bridge our beliefs on how to continue to evolve all aspects of the company.”
Brett took over last July from veteran chief executive Mickey Drexler, who led the company for 14 years after a stint at Gap. Drexler helped position J Crew as a top clothing brand known for its quality and preppy aesthetic before a years-long sales slump.