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Abercrombie's chief operating officer resigns

May 5, 2016 10:44 AM
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(Bloomberg)—Abercrombie & Fitch Co. chief operating officer Jonathan Ramsden announced plans to leave the apparel chain next month, a sign the race to pick the company’s next leader may be narrowing.

Ramsden, who has worked at Abercrombie since 2008, informed the company that he plans to resign on June 15, according to a statement Thursday. Ramsden will hand off his duties to executive chairman Arthur Martinez, chief merchandising officer Fran Horowitz and other executives.

Abercrombie, No. 58 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, has been without a CEO since longtime leader Mike Jeffries stepped down in 2014. The New Albany, Ohio-based company has instead been governed by an Office of the Chairman—a body that originally included Ramsden, Martinez, Horowitz and Abercrombie brand president Christos Angelides. The company fired Angelides in 2015 and elevated Horowitz from Hollister brand president to her current job, which involves managing merchandise for the whole company.

That previous shake-up suggested that Horowitz was more likely to become the next CEO, but the company hasn’t moved quickly to pick a new leader. Abercrombie said in December that it was sticking with its Office of the Chairman governing approach for now.

Ramsden was named operating chief in 2014 after serving as chief financial officer.

“The decision to leave was a very difficult one,” Ramsden said in the statement. “But I know that the company is in the hands of an outstanding leadership team and that we have built a strong foundation for growth and success.”

 

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