Men's Wearhouse Inc. founder George Zimmer is resigning from the board of directors that last week abruptly stripped him of his role as executive chairman.
Although the Fremont retailer never explained the rationale for the sudden removal, Zimmer on Monday reiterated his belief that his disagreements with board members led to his ejection.
"It is clear from the board's decision to terminate me … that the directors have determined to avoid addressing my growing concerns with recent board decisions and the strategic direction of the company I founded and successfully led for the past 40 years," Zimmer wrote in a resignation.
Zimmer wrote in the letter that he would leave immediately. With 3.5% of Men's Wearhouse shares as of May, he remains a "major shareholder," he wrote.
For years, Zimmer appeared in television commercials in which he told consumers, "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."
"I still care deeply about the company and its future," he wrote Monday, adding that he was departing with "a deep sense of pride for what the company has done."
He attributed the success of Men's Wearhouse to a "guiding principle of servant leadership" that valued employee and customer satisfaction over investor returns.
"I strongly encourage you to continue this culture into the future for the best interests of all the company's stakeholders," he wrote to board members.
The chain has 1,143 stores. Analysts said Zimmer, 64, may have had trouble connecting with younger customers, despite the company's attempts to market to that demographic.
Data from consumer perception tracking firm YouGov BrandIndex shows that Men's Wearhouse outperforms among consumers older than 35 but struggles with the 18- to 34-year-old crowd.
Attitudes among the younger set have been deteriorating since December, according to YouGov.