David Edwab, the wizard behind the curtain for The Men’s Wearhouse for more than 30 years, has retired.
Edwab has been the primary dealmaker for the retailer since joining the company in 1991, negotiating the acquisitions of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Today’s Man, JA Apparel, After Hours and Moores. Edwab, who began working with the company as its independent auditor in 1983, was instrumental in growing sales from $100 million in 1992, when he spearheaded its initial public offering, to $3.5 billion today.
Edwab, who will turn 61 this year, will remain as vice chairman and be available to provide consulting services to the company, Men’s Wearhouse said.
“Our company has been very fortunate to have had the benefit of David’s insight and guidance for over 30 years,” said Doug Ewert, Men’s Wearhouse’s chief executive officer. “His contribution to our success has been immeasurable, and we are pleased that he will continue to be accessible to management and that he will continue to serve on the board of directors.”
Ewert pointed to Edwab’s 40 years of experience in the retail business, saying since he spearheaded the company’s IPO, he has “helped build our brand and played a very significant role in developing the company’s growth strategy. David has been a partner and confidant to many members of the management team throughout his career. We are all appreciative for his mentorship and leadership,” Ewert said.
Edwab said he was “grateful to have had the privilege of being surrounded by a great group of men and women, who have worked tirelessly to grow our business into an industry leader in men’s retail. For me, the time is right to shift my attention to family and other personal interests. I will always be available to support the management team if called upon and firmly believe they will confidently lead the business into its next phase of growth and success.”
Jon Kimmins, who joined Men’s Wearhouse from LF-USA Inc. in 2013, now serves as the company’s chief financial officer and treasurer. In light of last year’s $1.8 billion acquisition of Jos. A. Bank, the company has said it will spend the next three years integrating the two men’s wear chains as it moves toward its goal to become America’s largest seller of men’s apparel. It ranks third behind Macy’s Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. As a result, sources do not expect the company to make any major deals within that time frame as it works to pay down debt from the deal.
Edwab joined the company as senior vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer. In 1993, he was named chief operating officer. Four years later, he was elevated to president. In 2000, he left Men’s Wearhouse to join Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. as a senior managing director and head of the retail group in the investment banking department. He rejoined the company in 2002 as vice chairman. He remains an inactive certified public accountant and serves on the boards of New York & Co. Inc., and the Vitamin Shoppe Inc.
Men’s Wearhouse was founded in 1973 and now operates more than 1,700 stores in the U.S. and Canada. It will report fourth-quarter and year-end earnings on March 12.