Martinez steps down from Abercrombie & Fitch's board

25 Jan '18
3 min read
Courtesy: Abercrombie & Fitch
Courtesy: Abercrombie & Fitch

Arthur C Martinez has decided to step down as executive chairman of board of directors of Abercrombie & Fitch at the end of this fiscal year. This is in line with his plans to retire as a director and not stand for re-election at the company's 2018 annual meeting of shareholders in June. Martinez has served as executive chairman since December 2014.

The fiscal year ends on February 3, 2018. Terry L Burman, lead independent director and chair of the nominating and board governance committee, will assume the role of non-executive chairman at that time.

Martinez and Burman both joined the board in January 2014. Martinez was appointed non-executive chairman of the board at that time, and has served as the company's executive chairman since December 2014.

"I am proud of the demonstrable progress that Abercrombie & Fitch is making under the leadership of Fran Horowitz, who was appointed chief executive officer early last year," said Martinez. "We have built a first-rate team whose intense focus on the customer, the revitalisation of our brands, and close management of expenses to help direct resources to omnichannel and marketing have enabled us to deliver sequential comparable sales improvement. My decision to step down as executive chairman and not stand for reelection to the board is part of a planned transition of the chairman role. With the company on a solid trajectory, this is the right time to hand over board leadership to Terry, who has outstanding credentials as a retail industry leader and is the right person to assume the role," concluded Martinez.

"In the realm of business leaders, Arthur is a singular talent," said Burman. “Abercrombie & Fitch has benefited enormously from his deep expertise and steady hand at a time of turbulence both at the company and in our industry. The entire board shares my gratitude for his contribution to stabilising the business, recruiting and developing world-class retail talent, and working with them to place Abercrombie & Fitch on a solid path to future success."

Martinez, 78, has enjoyed a long and highly accomplished career in retailing. He led the turnaround of Sears in the late 1990's as its chief executive officer, restoring the company to profitability after years of losses. He also served in a number of senior executive positions at Saks Fifth Avenue, among other companies. Martinez has been a sought after director, having served as chairman of HSNi until it was acquired in late December 2017 and of ABN-Amro, the largest bank in the Netherlands, and a director of AIG, PepsiCo, International Flavors & Fragrances and Kate Spade. He is currently chairman of Greenwich Hospital and a Trustee of Yale-New Haven Health System and Northwestern University.

Burman, 72, achieved notable success in a number of senior roles in retailing, most notably in the specialty jewelry sector. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Tuesday Morning Corporation and as a director of Learning Care Group. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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