In a bizarre move, Men’s Wearhouse has fired their founder, George Zimmer, who is also the face of the company, familiar to the public for his commercials which show his bearded smile and ending with the words “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.” He has been giving his guarantee since his commercials first aired in the 1970’s and the company has not explained why they suddenly want to lose their founder, who built it up from nothing, founding the company in 1973 after spending some time working for his father’s coat manufacturing company. What began with a cigar box for a cash register, selling $10 slacks and $25 polyester sports coats grew over the years into a multimillion dollar enterprise.
So its peculiar, to say the least, that the company wants to suddenly get rid of its founder and face. “This is very rare to fire a founder. Founders are generally entrenched in the company,” said Eleanor Bloxham, CEO of the Value Alliance, a board advisory firm, as reported by the Huffington Post.
The only widely known controversy Zimmer is associated with is his activism favoring the legalization of marijuana, which he has donated thousands towards in California.
“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,” Zimmer told CNBC. “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.”
Whether there is more to the story we aren’t quite sure, but it’s a little saddening when an icon dies, or, alternatively, when an icon is inexplicably fired.