Men’s Wearhouse: Zimmer Fires Back After Firing

Today’s shock firing of Men’s Wearhouse’s George Zimmer just ahead of a big meeting (subsequently rescheduled) was a move by the board not predicted by analysts or insiders — and now Zimmer has fired back on his termination from the company he founded.

After news broke that Men’s Wearhouse‘s Zimmer — featured prominently in ads for many years — had been axed, stock watchers tried to make sense of the situation and issued some hasty analyses.

Now Zimmer has commented on the Men’s Wearhouse situation, telling his side of the story after the surprise board move.

The board said in a statement released after Men’s Wearhouse made headlines for the firing that the board “expects to discuss with Mr. Zimmer the extent, if any, and terms of his ongoing relationship with the Company.”

Zimmer’s abrupt departure from Men’s Wearhouse seems to have come as a shock to the founder as well, and he said today:

Over the last 40 years, I have built MW into a multi-billion dollar company with amazing employees and loyal customers who value the products and service they receive at MW. Over the past several months I have expressed my concerns to the Board about the direction the company is currently heading.

Zimmer seems to suggest Men’s Wearhouse was keener to let him go than address the concerns he says he brought to the fore, though he did not elaborate as to what concerns he had addressed:

Instead of fostering the kind of dialogue in the Boardroom that has in part contributed to our success, they Board has inappropriately chosen to silence my concerns through termination as an executive officer.

Analyst Richard Jaffe theorized that “[following] Zimmer’s planned transition to a smaller role at the company, he had difficulty letting go of the reins and the leadership of the business … this led to a conflict with the board and his subsequent termination.”