Thursday, June 20, 2013

George Zimmer Fired From Men's Wearhouse

It must suck to found a company and watch it grow and grow and be the face of the company in television commercials for years and then one day just be fired from the company. That is exactly what happened to Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer, who was fired yesterday from the company he founded back in 1973. Forty years and out the door without so much as a complimentary pressing of his suit. Zimmer started the company when he was 24 years old and said that he had started to complain about the direction of the company. In 2011, he stepped down as CEO of the company.

31 comments:

Renoblondee said...

Wow. That sucks.

Anonymous said...

Dear George- It's always in your best interest to hold 51%.

Tempestuous Grape said...

What a difference a day maaaaaakes...24 little hours! That's not Men's Warehouse, but it's C&R, and thus it applies.

MadamChef said...

Men's Wearhouse - you're not gonna like the new CEO's look. I guarantee it.

Sugar said...

Wow that seems unfair. I like the dude.
Fun fact: he donated $50,000 in support of legalizing marajawana in Cali.

Sherry said...

Yup, never sell more than will allow you to control the company. Hopefully he secured a seat on the board. Otherwisee...I've seen it happen mostly in families and it's ugly.

Sherry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana G said...

Good one!

crila16 said...

How do you get fired from your own company? I would never step down and give someone else the power, unless I planned on selling it and completely stepping out.

StewMcG said...

Considering he had been complaining about the direction of the company, I can only assume the board thought he was going to make an ugly scene at the annual meeting (which was supposed to be yesterday) and fired him instead. Unless they had something *really* bad on him, I can't imagine why they would pick the day of the annual meeting (and postpone the meeting, which is usually planned almost a year in advance) to fire him. Something's really fishy here.

greenmountaingal said...

That sucks. Who's going to be in those commercials now?

Count Jerkula said...

That is why guys like Hef, Vince McMahon and Zuckerberg are smart. If you start a cash cow from scratch, you need to retain controlling interest. If you take the money, then you give away the power. Dude is the largest shareholder, but 3.5% of the company don't allow you to get your way.

I feel no sympathy for him.

Count Jerkula said...

@greenmountaingirl: In his contract w/ the company, they have to pay him $250k/year for 4 years for the rights to his likeness. After that they can negotiate if they want to keep using him.

libby said...

The charm of George Zimmer is that you really believed that he wanted you to look good as a man, no matter how much money you (didn't) have. His persona made suit-shopping a friendlier idea for guys in my generation (I'm 40ish now).

I think without Zimmer it becomes just another store with cheap clothes. Say what you want, the man projected warmth and friendliness.

Unknown said...

I don't think the company can survive without him. It may take a few years, but it will eventually tank without his iconic voice behind the commercials.

Seachica said...

I bet he was complaining about the ugliness of the rental suits these days. Seriously, we shopped for tuxes for our wedding, and they have gotten awful. Plus we get annoying calls and emails constantly, even after we have told them we rented from elsewhere.

In the end, we went with a local mom and pop shop, because they give us better service and much better quality. Lesson learned.

Amartel said...

MadamChef FTW!

Anonymous said...

Libby said it all, he had warmth and charisma in spade, and wasn't a tough sell. Just come in, look around, if you like it buy it, if you don't then don't but I'll still be a nice guy and won't treat you any differently. Mens Wearhouse just fucked up big time. you can buy cheap clothes anywhere, but Men's wearhouse had Zimmer which made it likable and relatable, it made me think that if I ever needed to get a suit for someone, I'd go there.

Anonymous said...

spades

Err said...

I worked for the corporate office of The Men's Wearhouse (which is in Houston) years ago. That was the strangest place. George lives in Cali and was never a part of day to day operations. His brother runs the show. The brother would sit in his office an smoke all day. Keep in mind, smoking in office buildings in the city of Houston is not allowed. The fire marshall would come in periodically and ticket the company. There were also executive lounges that the executives could smoke in. It was just a regular office kitchen but only for the executives.

On another note, they did offer free onsite childcare to any employee with kid(s) up to two years old. And an onsite gym facility for all employees.

Mango said...

Word is the new blood wants to sell those Bieber pants. George is totally against it and they think he's "out of touch" with the hot new trends.

Gypsy said...

I actually met him once in Dallas. He is wicked charming. I walked right up to him and I said, "Aren't you the guy from the Men's Warehouse?" And without missing a beat, he grinned widely and said, "I guarantee it." Very handsome too! They need him more than he needs them. I assure you.

Dishtlk said...

@gypsy omg! Thats amazing!

Plus, totally had a moment when I read the headline and I was like "How did they not fire him already!" *thinking of George ZimmerMAN... whoops.

Snapdragon said...

In the early 90s, he appeared on the Alex Bennett show (a radio program, forget which station it was on) and he was lots of fun. In fact, he recorded a promo for the show in which he said, "I'm George Zimmer and I'm not wearing any pants--I guarantee it." Laughed every time I heard it.

Hazeldazel said...

Oh gawd if mens wearhouse is gonna sell Beiber pants... Zimmer

Hazeldazel said...

Zimmer wins. This website hates my iPhone fuck

libby said...

Anna-Thank you, I agree with your comment also, about his soft sell technique. He knows his customer.

Gypsy--That is an awesome story!

auntliddy said...

Moral: dont step down!

Henriette said...

Zimmer wasn't too smart of a business man obviously. Wonder what the new ads will look like. Some generic guys buying suits like David's Bridal with Tuxes.

csproat said...

They made a big mistake giving him the boot......he was their differentiator.....now they will be just another bland forgettable suit company......

AKM said...

MadamChef, it's funny because it's true. Libby, you hit the nail on the head (or you...put the thread in the needle?). Gypsy and Snapdragon, those are super-cute stories!

Also, I sell Mary Kay, and the company has some affiliation with Men's Wearhouse (for whatever reason?) so I was able to get a nice 50% off coupon for my brother to buy his wedding suit. It's actually quite lovely.

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