Abercrombie's Operating Chief and One-Time CEO Candidate Resigns

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Ramsden, once seen as a CEO candidate, announced plans to leave the apparel chain next month.

Ramsden, who has worked at Abercrombie since 2008, informed the company that he plans to resign on June 15, according to a statement Thursday. Ramsden will hand off his duties to Executive Chairman Arthur Martinez, Chief Merchandising Officer Fran Horowitz and other executives.

Abercrombie has been without a chief executive officer since longtime leader Mike Jeffries stepped down in 2014. The New Albany, Ohio-based company has instead been governed by an Office of the Chairman -- a body that originally included Ramsden, Martinez, Horowitz and Abercrombie brand President Christos Angelides. The company fired Angelides in 2015 and elevated Horowitz from Hollister brand president to her current job, which involves managing merchandise for the whole company.

That previous shake-up suggested that Horowitz was more likely to become the next CEO, but the company hasn’t moved quickly to pick a new leader. Abercrombie said in December that it was sticking with its Office of the Chairman governing approach for now.

Ramsden was named operating chief in 2014 after serving as chief financial officer.

“The decision to leave was a very difficult one,” Ramsden said in the statement. “But I know that the company is in the hands of an outstanding leadership team and that we have built a strong foundation for growth and success.”

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