The lights were on at the
One man said he was "speechless." A woman said she often saw Charney, 45, strolling through the facility and had spotted him as recently as Tuesday. But there was no sign of him on Wednesday, she said.
The move stemmed from an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct and not due to "any problems with the company's operations," Allan Mayer, American Apparel's newly appointed co-chairman, told The Times.
"I just want to pass out -- it's unbelievable," said recycling employee Jesse Craig, 27, of Charney's firing. "He's the head honcho. He's a role model. I'm shocked."
Craig, a downtown resident who's worked for two years at the factory, said he admires Charney's rags-to-riches story. The Canadian immigrant ran American Apparel from his dorm room at Tufts University and built it into a company with 10,000 employees as of a year ago and net sales of $617.3 million in 2012.
But that year, the company suffered a $37.3-million loss and then reported a net loss of $106.3 million the next year. The retailer said in March that it hopes to sell $30.5 million worth of stock to fund its debt payments.
American Apparel -- whose tortured negotiations over financing led it to delay its annual report -- was recently in danger of being delisted by the
"He'll speak to you every now and then but he's here to check on the business," he said.
"I'm against that kind of behavior, but it happened behind closed doors," he said. "Now, we really don't know what to expect, but hopefully it gets better, not worse."