4. Dim and Zimmer
When Men's Wearhouse fired its founder and executive chairman George Zimmer last week, the company went out of its way to offer as little information as possible regarding his ouster. We here at the Dumbest Lab voiced our perplexity over the information blackout, as well as the "absolutely chilling sendoff" for the guy that started the specialty retailer that now counts 1,143 locations. At the time, we said the whole episode smacked of Zim Zam, thank you ma'am!.
Well, perhaps due to our puzzlement and that of others, not to mention the selloff in the company's shares, the company's board finally came clean Tuesday and revealed why it gave George the boot. And boy, oh boy, did they zetz Zim, but good!"Mr. Zimmer had difficulty accepting the fact that Men's Wearhouse is a public company with an independent Board of Directors and that he has not been the Chief Executive Officer for two years. He advocated for significant changes that would enable him to regain control, but ultimately he was unable to convince any of the Board members or senior executives that his positions were in the best interests of employees, shareholders or the company's future," stated the company in a press release. Ouch! We guarantee Zimmer is not going to like the way he looks after that public undressing. And that was just the preamble. After first informing the world that its founder and face is anything but a team player, the company then went into detail about Zimmer's spotlight-hogging, showboating ways, including his feud with his own hand-picked CEO Doug Ewert and his push to take the company private in a sale the board vehemently did not want. Zimmer gave a snippet of his side of the story last week, stating that he expressed his concerns about the direction of the company but "the Board has inappropriately chosen to silence" him through termination. Zimmer owns 3.5% of Men's Wearhouse stock, which surged 6% Tuesday on reports that he is talking to advisers about a potential buyout bid or activist campaign. "Mr. Zimmer presented the Board with the choice of either a) continuing to support our CEO and the management team on the successful path they had been taking, or b) effectively re-instating Mr. Zimmer as the sole decision maker," stated the board. Well, now we know why Men's Wearhouse selected option a. The next question, of course, is, what will be Zimmer's plan b?