Tom Casey Departs American Apparel

He has resigned as acting president two months shy of his original 15-month employment agreement.

Tom Casey has resigned as acting president of American Apparel, effective Nov. 18. His exit is two months shy of his original 15-month employment agreement that he signed when he joined the Los Angeles-based retailer in October 2010, and comes on the heels of two other high-profile departures from the company since last month.

This story first appeared in the November 21, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Dov Charney, chairman and chief executive officer of American Apparel, declined to elaborate on Casey’s departure when reached by phone. He also declined to say whether the president position would be refilled. “We have a large management team,” he noted. “I wish Tom Casey the best.”

Casey was a seasoned executive brought on board financially troubled American Apparel to help improve its operating discipline and capital structure. Prior to joining American Apparel, Casey was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Blockbuster Inc. from September 2007 to August 2010. Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the following month.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, American Apparel will continue to pay Casey his $400,000 annual salary for the next year. Earlier in his career, Casey was a managing director and head of the retail group at Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. and held investment banking positions with Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Dillon Read & Co. He currently serves on the board of directors and the audit committee of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc.

American Apparel has been roiled by high level departures, including the exit last month of Marty Staff, who was chief business development officer, after just seven months in that role. Staff was a former ceo of JA Apparel Corp. Also last month, Adrian Kowalewski left his position as executive vice-president, corporate strategy, at American Apparel to join Kellwood Co. as senior vice-president and chief financial officer.

American Apparel incurred a loss from operations of $20.9 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss from operations of $38.2 million in the year-ago period. As of Sept. 30, the company owed $51.1 million on a $75 million credit facility with Bank of America that matures in July, in addition to $89.5 million of outstanding term loans with Lion Capital.