Founder Likes the Way His Succession Looks
George Zimmer, who founded The Men’s Wearhouse in 1973, plans to
step down as president and chief executive officer in mid-2011. Under the succession
plan, he will be replaced by Doug Ewert, its president and COO.
bringing value to tailored clothing, Zimmer, 62, built the company to more
than 1,200 stores in the U.S. and Canada under three distinct banners: Men’s
Wearhouse, Moore’s and K&G. To the public, he is best known for his
role in the retailer’s television commercials, marked by his tagline, "You’re
going to like the way you look. I guarantee it." He will continue as chairman
and the public face of the chain.
Mr. Ewert joined Men’s Wearhouse in 1995
when the retailer had 278 stores. In 1999, he became vice president of merchandising
and, in 2001 became executive vice president and general merchandise manager
of all retail brands. He became chief operating officer in 2005, and added
the president’s title in 2008. The chief operating officer position will not
Mr. Zimmer said in the statement, "For the past 37 years, I
have emphasized that continuity and culture are a vital part of our ability
to serve customers. This orderly approach is designed to enhance both continuity
and culture. I have worked very closely with Doug for over a decade and anticipate
that we will continue to work closely together on a smooth transition during
the coming year and beyond."
The company noted that the change comes as
Men’s Wearhouse was named to this year’s Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work
In an interview with the Houston Business Journal, Mr.
Zimmer added, "I
have said to my own people over the decades that I would like the company
to survive at least 100 years. That means it has to go way beyond me and my
family. I’ve been doing this almost 38 years, and Doug is 15 years younger
than I am. I actually have my eye on Doug’s replacement, but only very
faintly, because I want him to make that call."
- Men’s Wearhouse Board Approves Succession Plan – Men’s Wearhouse
- Zimmer, Ewert peer into Men’s Wearhouse – Houston Business
Discussion Questions: What does a retailer risk losing when its founder steps down? What’s the key to the successful succession plan for a founder?