Jun 19, 2013
George Zimmer, 64, had also experienced a difference of opinions with Ewert on whether to sell the K&G Superstores discount clothing chain, as well as the buy-back of stock and other heated issues.
Zimmer opened the first Men's Wearhouse in Houston 40 years ago, and the retail clothing corporation has enjoyed great success. That does not matter, apparently, as the company has now terminated its aging founder and longtime advertising icon.
Men's Wearhouse happily reported that its fiscal first-quarter profit increased by an impressive 23 percent, which came on the back of the iconic phrase, "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."
However, the profitable clothing retailer legally owns the rights to George Zimmer's commercial images. In theory, Zimmer's distinguished face and famous tagline could be recycled without the founder even being alive.
The Houston-based company now wants to appeal to young "millennial" clothing buyers, so bye-bye, grandpa.
George Zimmer does not like the way the corporate death panel looks:
"Over the last 40 years, I have built The Men's Wearhouse into a multi-billion dollar company with amazing employees and loyal customers who value the products and service they receive at The Men's Wearhouse," Zimmer declared.
"Over the past several months I have expressed my concerns to the Board about the direction the company is currently heading. Instead of fostering the kind of dialogue in the Boardroom that has, in part, contributed to our success, the Board has inappropriately chosen to silence my concerns by terminating me as an executive officer," Zimmer added.
George Zimmer was born in New York City to a Jewish family in 1948. He earned his Economics degree from Washington University in St. Louis before helping his father in the clothing manufacturing business.
Zimmer and his college buddies opened the first Men's Wearhouse store in 1973 with a cigar box in lieu of a cash register after operating out of a van.
George Zimmer starved and sweated for every penny he earned.
Now the successful Men's Wearhouse founder has been unceremoniously tossed out with yesterday's garbage as a senior citizen with a now-uncertain future.
How disrespectful, shameful and foolish.
Many wonder if George Zimmer's abrupt firing had anything to do with his financial support of California's Proposition 19, the 2010 statewide ballot initiative to legalize marijuana.
If so, that would be difficult to justify to young "millennial" male customers.
If George Zimmer is no longer at Men's Wearhouse to guarantee that we'll like the way we look, then all bets are off. "We guarantee it."