NEW YORK — There’s been a sudden change of command at Urban Brands Inc., the Secaucus, N.J.-based operator of the Ashley Stewart and Marianne plus size women’s chains in need of “reinvigoration.” Ethan Shapiro has been appointed acting chief executive officer, replacing Bob Bland.

Neither Cleveland Christophe, chairman, nor Shapiro could be reached for comment on why Bland was ousted. But in a statement to employees, Christophe credited Bland for playing “a critical leadership role in building the business.”

Christophe also said Shapiro will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of all aspects of the company. “He brings to us over 35 years of urban retail experience and dedication [to] the urban customer.”

Bob Grayson, a consultant and former Limited executive, will serve as senior adviser to the UBI management team, Christophe said, “as we seek to reinvigorate the company, sharpen our focus on serving our customers and achieve a high level of profitability.”

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