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Men’s Wearhouse Founder Zimmer Resigns From Board Over Strategy

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June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Men’s Wearhouse Inc. founder George Zimmer resigned from the company’s board of directors effective immediately, citing concerns with the retailer’s strategic direction.

Zimmer, who started Men’s Wearhouse 40 years ago, was fired June 19 as executive chairman. In a letter of resignation submitted to the board today, Zimmer says his termination shows the directors’ unwillingness to address his “growing concerns with recent board decisions and the strategic direction of the company.”

The executive’s termination followed repeated clashes over strategy between Zimmer, 64, and Douglas Ewert, his hand-picked chief executive officer, according to a person familiar with the matter. The conflict centered in part on plans to sell K&G, a retailer of men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, and to buy back shares, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

Men’s Wearhouse fell 1.8 percent to $35.13 at the close of New York trading. The shares have risen 13 percent this year, compared with a 10 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Zimmer was the Houston-based company’s seventh-largest shareholder as of April 3, with about 1.77 million shares, or 3.5 percent of the stock outstanding.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lindsey Rupp in New York at lrupp2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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