American Apparel CEO to Step Down
Los Angeles-based American Apparel CEO Paula Schneider plans to resign from her position, effective Oct. 3. Women's Wear Daily reported that Chelsea Grayson, American Apparel's general counsel and chief administrative officer, is in the process of transitioning into the role of CEO.
This comes after a rocky period for the apparel company, including a rebranding effort, a legal battle with founder and former CEO Dov Charney, and reports of a possible sale. According to Women's Wear Daily, despite the recent troubles, it was Schneider's decision to leave.
Women's Wear Daily obtained a resignation letter that Schneider sent to the American Apparel board. In it, Schneider hinted at the company's efforts to regain profitability and how the possibility of a sale fits in. It read:
The [turnaround] plan has been laid out and much of the heavy lifting and the hard work has been done. … The sale process currently underway for all or part of the company may not enable us to pursue the course of action necessary for the plan to succeed nor allow the brand to stay true to its ideals. Therefore, after much deliberation, and with a heavy heart, I've come to the conclusion it is time for me to resign as CEO.
This news also follows the departure of Paul R. Charron, who served as chairman of the American Apparel board.
"The owners really believe in the brand [and] really want the company to succeed in moving forward, and that's why they're looking for outside folks to come in and really help fuel the next stage of a turnaround," an American Apparel source told Women's Wear Daily.
Grayson reportedly will focus primarily on the company's millennial customer base. Any other major shifts in strategy are unknown.
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.