David Jaffe, chairman and chief executive officer of the Ascena Retail Group, has retired from the company and has been succeeded by Gary Muto as ceo.

Muto, currently president and ceo of Ascena Brands, will join the board of directors. In addition, Carrie Teffner has been named interim executive chair of the board of directors.

“Leading Ascena over the past 27 years has been a privilege. As the company continues its transformation, the board of directors and I mutually agreed that these decisions are right for the business and its shareholders. I am extremely confident in Ascena’s future under Gary’s leadership.”

Ascena has been struggling with uneven performance across its divisions. Last March, Ascena sold a majority stake in its Duluth, Minn.-based Maurices division, to a subsidiary of British private equity firm OpCapita. The deal was valued at $300 million and will help shore up Ascena’s balance sheet.

Maurices caters to women in the twenty- to thirtysomething age range in small towns and midsize cities across the U.S. and Canada. Ascena will retain an equity interest in Maurices. Ascena also owns Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Justice and Dressbarn.

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