Abercrombie Executive Angelides Is Fired, Removing CEO Contender

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said Christos Angelides, head of its namesake brand, has been fired, eliminating a potential contender to fill the teen retailer’s yearlong vacancy at the chief executive officer position.

Fran Horowitz, president of the Hollister brand, will assume the newly created position of chief merchandising officer, effective immediately, New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie said Tuesday in a statement. She’ll report to Executive Chairman Arthur Martinez and be responsible for all customer-facing activities at all of the company’s brands.

Angelides’s departure removes one executive from the group vying to replace former CEO Mike Jeffries, who stepped down about a year ago after almost 16 years at the retailer’s helm. Horowitz and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Ramsden also had been considered among the top internal candidates for the position. The company in the past year has made other adjustments to its leadership to try to differentiate the Abercrombie and Hollister brands in a bid to win back customers.

Abercrombie said in a filing that Angelides’s employment with the company was terminated without cause. He’ll receive his base salary for 18 months, totaling about $1.49 million, along with $4 million related to the forfeiture of an equity replacement grant. Angelides also will get a prorated portion of his annual cash incentive.

Abercrombie rose 0.9 percent to $25.54 yesterday in New York. The shares have slid 11 percent this year.

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