Maurice Marciano, chairman and co-founder of Guess Inc., will retire at the conclusion of his current employment contract on Jan. 28, the end of the company’s current fiscal year.

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

Marciano, 62, who founded Guess with his brothers Paul, Armand and Georges in 1981, will move to the post of non-executive chairman at that time. The company said that, as agreed upon earlier, Marciano will begin a two-year consulting arrangement upon his retirement, including the provision of advice and counsel to Paul Marciano, 59, the company’s chief executive officer.

“I am proud of the work we have done and of the strong management team that we have assembled,” Maurice Marciano said. “As chairman of the board, I will continue to oversee the strategy of the company as well as its expansion and well being.”

Maurice Marciano has served as chairman since 2007 and for eight years prior to that shared the titles of chairman and ceo with Paul Marciano.

Originally among a large number of Los Angeles-based vendors of high-end denim, Guess in 1999 set out a strategy, highly controversial at the time, to become more vertical and less dependent on department store business. In the fiscal year ended last January, net income increased 19.3 percent, to $289.5 million, as revenues grew 16.9 percent to $2.49 billion. North American retail operations accounted for 43 percent of revenues while wholesale activity on the continent, once the bulk of the business, accounted for just 7.3 percent of volume.

As of April 30, the company owned 686 stores worldwide in addition to 735 Guess stores operated through third-party arrangements.

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