J.Crew gets new CEO; Mickey Drexler still chairman

Terrell Bush
June 6, 2017

J.Crew sales have been slipping in recent years, despite its efforts to return to its preppy roots or its experiments with athleisure.

It's hard to call this the wrong move for Drexler and J. Crew.

Drexler, whose 10 percent stake makes him the largest individual investor in J.Crew, will remain chairman of the NY company.

"This is an exciting time for J.Crew as we continue to make significant changes to position our company for long-term success", Drexler said in a statement emailed to Racked. As of June 5, 2017 the Company operates 278 J.Crew retail stores, 116 Madewell stores, jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com, the J.Crew catalog, madewell.com, and 178 factory stores (including 39 J.Crew Mercantile stores).

J.Crew's season of discontent continued on Monday when the struggling retailer said longtime Chief Executive Mickey Drexler is stepping down. On top of these losses, the company has more than $2 billion in debt and less than $150 million in cash. He will assume the CEO position this July, and will also join the company's board of directors.

"Jim has a proven track record of pushing for innovation and growing omni-channel brands", said Drexler in his statement. "I've never seen the speed of change as it is today", he said.

Drexler, who won a lot of praise for making Gap a leader in America's malls, had recently acknowledged that J. Crew had made some mistakes. West Elm's former CEO Jim Brett has been named as his replacement.

Brett, Drexler's successor, was once an executive at Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, but he's best known for working a successful turnaround at West Elm, where he sought to bring "personality and soul" back into the design since he became president of the company in 2010. Prior to West Elm, he was the Chief Merchandising Officer for the Urban Outfitters Division of Urban Outfitters, Inc. A J.Crew fan can dream, right?

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