Aéropostale terminates Christopher Finazzo, Merchandising Head

09 Nov '06
3 min read

Aéropostale announced that Christopher Finazzo, the Company's Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer, has been terminated for cause, effective immediately.

The Company's action was taken based upon initial information uncovered by management and after an independent investigation was conducted at the direction, and under the supervision, of a special committee of the Board of Directors.

The investigation, being carried out by outside legal counsel and a third-party investigation firm, revealed that Mr. Finazzo concealed personal ownership interests in, and served as an officer of, entities affiliated with one of the Company's primary vendors, South Bay Apparel Inc.

These activities, and their concealment, constitute conflicts of interest in breach of the Company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and violations of Mr. Finazzo's employment agreement.

The Company anticipates that the investigation will be concluded prior to the early December filing of its Form 10-Q for the third quarter ended October 28, 2006. At this time, Aéropostale believes that these breaches and violations are confined to this one individual and to entities affiliated with this one vendor.

The Company does not anticipate that it will have to restate previously reported earnings, nor does it believe that this issue will have any impact on recently issued guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2006.

“Mr. Finazzo's actions are unacceptable,” stated Julian Geiger, Aéropostale's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Aéropostale does not tolerate any noncompliance with its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. While painful, our decision was swift, comprehensive, and consistent with the highest standards of corporate governance and ethics. I am pleased that we have effective processes in place to uncover issues, and to act upon them quickly and decisively.”

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