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American Eagle Promotes Co-CEOs

NEW YORK — Roger Markfield and James O’Donnell have been promoted to co-chief executive officers of American Eagle Outfitters. Jay Schottenstein, who had been ceo since March 1992, remains chairman. <br><br>Markfield, who joined AE in...

NEW YORK — Roger Markfield and James O’Donnell have been promoted to co-chief executive officers of American Eagle Outfitters. Jay Schottenstein, who had been ceo since March 1992, remains chairman.

This story first appeared in the December 11, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Markfield, who joined AE in 1993, will retain his position as president and chief merchandising officer. He joined AE in 1993 as executive vice president, merchandising, and became a director in 1999.

Similarly, O’Donnell, who joined AE in December 2000 as chief operating officer, will retain that position. He is also on the company’s board.

According to the company’s most recent definitive proxy, filed in April, Schottenstein owned 10.1 million of the company’s outstanding shares, representing a 13.5 percent stake in the firm. Schottenstein family interests own another 12.6 percent of the firm. Markfield, with 1.1 million shares, owns 1.5 percent of the stock, while O’Donnell’s holdings are 179,457 shares, under 1 percent.

AE is one of several teen-focused retailers who have struggled in recent months. Its third-quarter profits slid 11.7 percent to $27.1 million, or 37 cents a diluted share, while sales in the quarter rose 3 percent to $374.5 million while comparable-store sales, including its problematic Canadian units, dropped 7 percent.

November comps showed no signs of recovery, dropping 4.9 percent in the U.S., 30.1 percent at the Bluenotes/Thriftys stores and 6.5 percent overall.

AE said it expected December comps to decline in the low-single digit range.