Lands' EndgameSusan Chandler
The end came abruptly for Lands' End Chief Executive Uilliam End. After four years at the helm of the $1 billion clothing cataloger, End resigned on Dec. 5 over disagreements with the company's board about "management style."
Sources close to the company say Lands' End directors grew restive when the costs of End's aggressive expansion overseas--with separate catalogs for Britain and Japan--exploded while core U.S. sales stayed flat. Wall Street already was worried: Lands' End stock, declining since September, now trades around 141/2, a 52-week low. That likely drew the attention of company founder and Chairman Gary Comer, who owns 51% of its shares.
For his part, End, a financial whiz with a Harvard MBA, had grown tired of being second-guessed by a board that included Comer and ex-CEO Richard Anderson, sources say. End's departure follows by four months that of merchandise chief David Dyer, who left to become COO at Home Shopping Network. Anderson says his exit and End's weren't related.
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