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George Zimmer Resigns as MW Director

Says ouster shows board is "determined to avoid addressing my growing concerns."

George Zimmer has resigned as a director of The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. less than a week after he was ousted as the executive chairman of the firm he founded four decades ago.

Zimmer resigned in a letter sent to the board which, like his comments and those of the board last week, clearly indicated strategic differences without providing specifics on their sources.

“It is clear from the board’s decision to terminate me from my role as executive chairman and my position as a senior management executive that the directors have determined to avoid addressing my growing concerns with recent board decisions and the strategic direction of the company I founded and successfully led for the past 40 years,” he wrote, indicating his departure was effective immediately.

“As the founder and still a major shareholder, I still care deeply about the company and its future,” he stated, concluding by encouraging the board to continue to adhere to the “guiding principle of servant leadership [that] made The Men’s Wearhouse the great company it is today.”

He remains the company’s largest noninstitutional shareholder, with nearly 1.8 million shares of stock, or 3.5 percent of those outstanding. Shares of the Fremont, Calif.-based men’s wear chain closed Monday at $35.13, down 66 cents or 1.8 percent, valuing Zimmer’s holdings at a little over $62.2 million.

Men’s Wearhouse, the largest U.S.-based men’s wear chain with $2.5 billion in 2012 sales, shocked the industry last Wednesday by dismissing Zimmer and canceling the annual meeting scheduled to be held later in the day, at which the ousted chairman was to stand for reelection as a director. The meeting has not been rescheduled and Zimmer’s status as its advertising spokesperson hasn’t been addressed by MW.