May 17, 2015 – They have not had a CEO in over five months. So retail giant, Abercrombie & Fitch, has gone to the outside to help find itself a new leader by enlisting Hunt Scanlon ‘Big Five’ recruiter Spencer Stuart.
In December, A&F’s longtime CEO, Mike Jefferies, who had helped build a brand that attracted millions of teens in the 1990s to its cutting edge clothing line, retired after he fell out of favor with company management as sales for its A&F and Hollister lines declined among the current teen population.
“We are looking for a very clear strategic perspective,” A&F board chairman, Arthur Martinez, told Bloomberg Business. In its sights are three inside candidates: Jonathan Ramsden, A&F’s chief operating officer; Christos Angelides, president of its flagship Abercrombie chain; and Fran Horowitz, who oversees the Hollister brand. The three candidates and Martinez are currently managing the day-to-day operations until a new CEO is identified.
Spencer Stuart was tapped to help A&F identify external candidates in the event none of the three insiders under consideration pan out. “In search assignments of this magnitude it’s not uncommon for a company to look outside,” said Hunt Scanlon Media president Christopher Hunt. “Spencer Stuart’s task is to develop a short list of external CEO candidates who can be benchmarked against the insiders in contention.”