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Ear to the Ground

American Apparel Cuts Controversial Founder Dov Charney Out of His Company

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Posted on Jun 19, 2014

  Dov Charney shoots a self-portrait in one of his company’s California stores in 2009. flickr/dovcharney (CC-BY-SA)

There was a time, around a decade ago, when American Apparel’s brand seemed to be enhanced, at least on the business side, by the pervy sensibility of its founder and charismatic leader, Dov Charney. Those days have apparently passed.

On Wednesday evening, the company announced that its board had decided to pink-slip Charney after years of financial floundering along with troubling allegations about the former chairman and CEO. The New York Times brought word of the move Thursday:

According to one company director, Allan Mayer, the move was made amid “an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct.” It follows years of controversy that have troubled Mr. Charney, including several cases of sexual harassment.

The decision also comes after years of financial underperformance, including times when the company needed rescue financing to stay afloat. Shares in the retailer have fallen 84 percent over the past five years, to 64 cents as of Wednesday’s close.

On an up note, American Apparel stock hopped up to 73 cents Thursday after the news of Charney’s ouster, the Times added.

Meanwhile, The Guardian was at the ready to send Charney off with a detailed report about the sketchy antics that seemed to work for him and his company for a while—until they didn’t anymore.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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