Matt Townsend, Bloomberg, December 17, 2014

Paula Schneider, American Apparel Inc. incoming chief executive officer, hasn’t even started work yet and she’s already facing a group of disgruntled managers. More than 30 executives asked the board to reconsider their decision to fire former CEO and company founder Dov Charney, according to a letter obtained by Bloomberg News. Charney should be a part of the retailer’s future by helping the next CEO improve the chain because he is what “makes this thing tick,” the managers said.

Charney’s loyalists bring an additional headache to a new CEO already coping with red ink and sluggish sales. The chain has racked up more than $300 million in net losses since 2010, forcing it to raise capital to make ends meet — most recently in July. Schneider also has to contend with image problems at a company that’s been criticized for its racy advertising and sexually charged culture.

Bringing in a woman with a lot of experience may help repair American Apparel’s public image, said Davia Temin, founder of Temin & Co., a New York crisis-management firm. “From a reputation point of view, it’s a good choice,” Temin said. “It’s probably the only choice they had, doing something drastic.” […read more]