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A&F Extends Jeffries’ Contract

Chairman and ceo Michael Jeffries signs on for another five years at Abercrombie & Fitch.

Michael Jeffries, chairman and chief executive officer of Abercrombie & Fitch, has reached a new five-year employment agreement.

This story first appeared in the December 23, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The New Albany, Ohio-based specialty store chain said Monday the contract expires on Feb. 1, 2014. Jeffries’ current contract was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31.

Jeffries, 63, has been ceo of A&F since 1992. A former Federated Department Stores executive, he also founded the former Alcott & Andrews women’s chain before joining A&F. Jeffries has been credited as the principal architect of A&F’s explosive growth and its expansion into other concepts, including Hollister and Ruehl. Jeffries has been on the board of directors since 1996 and has been chairman since 1998.

Under the terms of the agreement, Jeffries will continue to receive his current annual base salary of $1.5 million and will be eligible for bonuses of between 120 percent and 240 percent of his base salary. In addition, Jeffries will be entitled to receive a grant of options to acquire 4 million shares of the company’s class A common stock, which will be awarded in three installments between now and September 2009. The exercise price for half of the options awarded on each grant date will be equal to the fair market value of the company’s class A common stock on the grant date. The balance of the options granted will have varying exercise prices.

In 2007, Jeffries received total compensation of $11.4 million, down 56 percent from the previous year because of a reduction in option awards and other incentives such as change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings.

A&F was founded in 1892 as a purveyor of safari and fishing equipment. It was acquired by The Limited in 1988 and spun off as a public company in 1996. The company operates 353 Abercrombie & Fitch stores; 211 abercrombie stores; 501 Hollister Co. stores; 27 Ruehl stores, and 13 Gilly Hicks stores in the U.S., as well as units in Canada and London.