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Pitchman Who ‘Guaranteed’ Our Look Fired By Men’s Warehouse

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
June 19, 2013

He might like the way you look, but may no longer be able to guarantee you will.

Men’s Warehouse Inc. announced Wednesday that George Zimmer, founder and executive chairman of the company, has been fired.

Zimmer is likely familiar to most TV viewers who’ve been greeted by his comforting demeanor, baritone voice and the pleasing delivery of the brand’s slogan, “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.” It’s a line he’s been delivering for the company since 1986.

The statement from the Men’s Warehouse board did not detail why Zimmer was terminated, but in a statement to CNBC, Zimmer said it was because of a disagreement with the direction of the company:

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

The sudden departure comes just a week after Men’s Warehouse reported that its fiscal first-quarter profit increased 23 percent.

According to USA Today, Zimmer earned nearly $2 million last year in pay, bonuses and other compensation, and Men’s Wearhouse will still owe Zimmer $250,000 annually for four years under a licensing deal for his image in advertising for the company.

After working for his father’s coat manufacturing business in Hong Kong, Zimmer opened his first Men’s Warehouse with a college roommate in 1973 in Houston, according to the company’s website. He used a cigar box for a cash register.

The company grew to become one of North America’s largest men’s clothing retailers with 1,143 locations. The company also owns the Moores, K&G and Tux brands. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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