Edmond Thomas is returning for his third tour of duty — and his second tenure as chief executive officer — at The Wet Seal Inc. after the troubled teen and contemporary specialty chain dismissed John Goodman from the post following a trying 20-month tenure.
Thomas was most recently a director of KarpReilly LLC, the private investment firm with holdings in Trina Turk and Adrianna Papell and numerous ventures outside fashion, after serving as president and ceo of Wet Seal from October 2007 to January 2011. He was president and chief operating officer of the Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based chain between 1992 and 2000 before joining Tilly’s as president and co-ceo.
Thomas will assume Goodman’s seat on Wet Seal’s board when his appointment takes effect on Monday.
Goodman, who joined Wet Seal as a director in September 2012 before succeeding Susan McGalla as ceo four months later, had a contract that ran through 2016 and will receive $819,200 in severance payments and have 100,000 shares of restricted stock vest immediately upon execution of the termination agreement.
He was previously executive vice president of apparel and home at Sears Holdings Corp., ceo of Charlotte Russe Holding and president and ceo of Mervyns until the time of its 2008 bankruptcy.
His service with Wet Seal included the closure of its Arden B. division, the reduction in the size and compensation of its board and interest from activist investor The Clinton Group in taking the chain private.
Including Arden B. exit costs and asset impairment charges, Wet Seal recorded a first-quarter net loss of $21.8 million versus a year-ago profit as sales declined 16.9 percent to $116.7 million. On average, analysts expect a second-quarter loss of 10 cents on a 9.4 percent decline in revenues, to $124.3 million, when it reports results on Sept. 10. Last year it reduced its net loss to $38.4 million from $113.2 million in the prior year while sales fell 8.7 percent to $530.1 million.
Thomas is currently a director of New York & Co. Inc. His new agreement with Wet Seal is for a term of three years and carries an annual salary of $975,000 plus a signing bonus of $75,000 and performance-based and restricted stock units.
Word of Goodman’s departure and Thomas’s appointment was made in a Form 8-K disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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