WWD.com/beauty-industry-news/fashion-features/ann-taylor-cfo-james-smith-resigns-487239/

NEW YORK — AnnTaylor Stores Corp. said James M. Smith, executive vice president and chief financial officer, has resigned to “pursue other interests.”

The company is searching for a replacement. Smith, who has been at Ann Taylor for 14 years, agreed to stay on until the end of September or until the women’s specialty chain appoints a new cfo, whichever is earlier, the company said.

“We are grateful to Jim for his service to the company over the past 14 years,” Kay Krill, Ann Taylor president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are pleased that he has agreed to stay on to support a smooth transition.”

His resignation comes one day after the retailer announced weaker-than-expected July comps, hurt by light traffic and fashion blunders at the company’s more casual Ann Taylor Loft stores.

July same-store sales fell 5 percent from the year-ago period. By division, comparable-store sales for Ann Taylor dropped 2.5 percent in the 2007 period, and Ann Taylor Loft comps tumbled 9.3 percent from 2006.

This story first appeared in the August 13, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.