THE AMERICAN APPAREL CALL: Dov Charney’s still trying find his place at American Apparel Inc.

The controversial founder of the company — who was ousted as chief executive officer over allegations of misconduct and brought back as a consultant — made an appearance on American Apparel’s regular Tuesday conference call with store managers.

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

He was invited to speak by Scott Brubaker, the Alvarez & Marsal turnaround expert who was named interim ceo last month. But the cameo left some confusion about just how much influence Charney has at American Apparel, and one source close to the company said, “I don’t know if Scott’s going to make that mistake again.”

Two sources said it was unlikely that Charney would regain the title of ceo but that some other role is being negotiated.

American Apparel is in a bind with Charney. The company faces either a hefty severance payment or, if he’s fired, an expensive legal battle. But if the colorful Charney stays on in a position of power — despite his famously libertine ways and a penchant for micromanaging — it would be harder for the company to bring on a top-flight ceo.

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