The Rue21 Inc. teen specialty chain, after experiencing rapid growth across the country, has initiated a shake-up in its top management, ousting chief executive officer Robert Fisch and bringing talent in from the outside.
The company said the board has launched a search for a new ceo, but did not provide a reason for Fisch’s sudden departure. The teen specialty sector has been troubled in the last few years and last month mall operators Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties were among an investors’ group led by Associated Brands Group that bought Aéropostale out of bankruptcy to keep the chain operating.
At Rue21, Keith McDonough, the chief financial officer, has been appointed interim ceo. He has served as Rue21’s cfo for 13 years and has more than three decades of senior leadership experience in the retail industry, the company said.
The company also appointed Nina Barjesteh chief merchandising officer and Elizabeth Hodges chief customer officer, a new position.
Barjesteh, who has more than 20 years of experience in the retail and fashion industry, joins Rue21 from Target Corp., where she was vice president, general merchandise manager of the women’s apparel division. She will be responsible for all merchandising initiatives. Barjesteh succeeds Kim Reynolds.