Shares of the
fell about 15% this week after the surprise departure of CEO Mickey Drexler, who said he would step down once new leadership had been found. Drexler had been CEO since 1995. The timing of the announcement came as a surprise to many as the company has recently hinted that its longstanding turnaround efforts were at last bearing fruit. While sales and earnings remain weak, company executives spoke positively in a recent conference call about the company's return to basic fashion. Analysts who follow the retailer said the departure of the widely respected CEO could derail, or at the very least set back, any recovery.