Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. jumped 6.2 percent in early morning trading to $27.99 following the disclosure that the retailer’s chief executive officer, Michael Jeffries, will retire.

The company said this morning that Jeffries has retired as ceo and that the company will be overseen by a newly established office of the chairman, headed by Arthur Martinez, who moves from non-executive chairman to executive chairman with Jeffries’s departure. The management group also includes Jonathan Ramsden, chief operating officer; Christos Angelides, brand president of Abercrombie & Fitch, and Fran Horowitz, brand president of Hollister.

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The company has engaged a “leading executive search firm” to seek a successor for Jeffries. The search will include both internal and external candidates.

“It is impossible to overstate Mike Jeffries’ extraordinary accomplishments in building Abercrombie & Fitch to the iconic status the brand now enjoys,” said Martinez. “From a standing start two decades ago, his creativity and imagination were the driving forces behind the company’s growth and success. Going forward, we are confident in our talented senior leadership team and the steps we are taking to revitalize our brands and business.

“We are also confident that our search will identify a new leader with the skills and expertise to enable Abercrombie & Fitch to capitalize fully on its growth opportunities and build shareholder value,” Martinez concluded.

Jeffries said, “It has been an honor to lead this extraordinarily talented group of people.  I am extremely proud of your accomplishments.  I believe now is the right time for new leadership to take the Company forward in the next phase of its development.”

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