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Men's Wearhouse Board approves succession plan
Jan '11
The Men's Wearhouse Inc, a leading specialty retailer of men's apparel, reported that its board of directors has approved a succession plan which will bring about an orderly transition of executive leadership during fiscal 2011. The board emphasized that the executive leadership team, which has successfully managed the 37 year-old company through multiple economic cycles, will remain intact and will continue to exemplify the unique culture of Men's Wearhouse.

The succession plan envisions that Douglas S. Ewert, the president and chief operating officer of the Company, will succeed George Zimmer, Men's Wearhouse's founder and chairman of the board and chief executive officer, as president and chief executive officer of the Company. Under the plan, Ewert, age 47, will become the president and chief executive officer in mid 2011, and Zimmer, age 62, will continue as executive chairman of the board of directors. Zimmer will assist Ewert in matters related to the strategic direction of the Company and he will continue to be involved in the Company's marketing activities. Zimmer will remain a pivotal architect of the Company's customer and employee oriented culture. After Ewert's transition to president and chief executive officer, the chief operating officer position will not be filled.

Bill Sechrest, lead director of Men's Wearhouse, said, "Our board has recognized that succession planning is an important part of any company's corporate governance and this plan reflects a considered process over several years to accomplish the natural evolution of the Company's outstanding management team."

The board noted that the management team has successfully differentiated Men's Wearhouse from the competition and that Ewert has played a key role in enhancing the performance of more than 1,200 stores in the United States and Canada. The company's retail store operations Men's Wearhouse, Moore's, and K&G as well as the merchandising and supply chain functions, all currently report to Ewert. Sechrest added, "Doug has demonstrated an ability to inspire people and encourage them to work together. We're pleased and excited that Doug will be leading our company with retail experience that spans 26 years."

Zimmer, in commenting on the succession plan, stated, "We have over 16,000 employees that, once again, have made it possible for Men's Wearhouse to be named to this year's FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For. For the past 37 years, I have emphasized that continuity and culture are a vital part of our ability to serve customers. This orderly approach is designed to enhance both continuity and culture. I have worked very closely with Doug for over a decade and anticipate that we will continue to work closely together on a smooth transition during the coming year and beyond."

When Ewert joined Men's Wearhouse in 1995, the company operated 278 stores. In 1999, Ewert became vice president of merchandising and, in 2000, senior vice president of merchandising. He was promoted again in 2001 to become executive vice president and general merchandise manager of all retail brands. He was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2005, and advanced to president and chief operating officer of the Company in 2008.

Ewert concluded, "I'm honored and excited to be chosen by the board to lead the next chapter in this Company's amazing story. I am looking forward to continue working closely with George and our outstanding leadership team for many more years to come."

Men's Wearhouse Inc

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