NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There are a lot of reasons why longtime Abercrombie & Fitch's (ANF) CEO Mike Jeffries finally lost his job on Tuesday.
Jeffries may have built Abercrombie into one of the hot retailers of the 90s, but his recent tenure has been marked by major failures, from highly-publicized public relations gaffes to the closing of hundreds of underperforming stores. No wonder investors cheered news of his exit, with the stock up almost 7% in recent trading on Tuesday.
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Abercrombie & Fitch's current non-executive chairman, former Sears (SHLD) CEO Arthur Martinez, will now become executive chairman. According to Abercrombie, the chairman's office will oversee the company's strategic direction and day-to-day operations until a successor to Jeffries is found.
Jeffries' failures atop the company were numerous, but there were three in particular that doomed him.
1. He was a public relations nightmare.
The long-time executive triggered an uproar in 2013 when his comments from a 2006 interview with Salon explaining why Abercrombie & Fitch refused to carry women's clothing over a size 10 were dug up by media outfits. "That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores," Jeffries said. He added, "Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people -- we don't market to anyone other than that." The controversy led to Jeffries issuing a public apology on May 15, 2013.
"While I believe this seven-year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context, I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense," said Jeffries. "We are completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterizations or other anti-social behavior based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics."
2. He expanded way too aggressively.
When not destroying the company's reputation in public, Jeffries could be spotted destroying Abercrombie's financial statements by signing off on the opening of too many U.S. stores, despite teens increasingly choosing to buy from the lower-priced racks found at Forever 21 and H&M.
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