American Apparel Hires Executive Amid Legal Issues
March 29, 2011
continued effort to bolster its management team, Counselor Top 40 supplier
American Apparel (asi/35297) has hired Martin Staff as chief development
officer. Staff, whose background includes leadership roles at JA Apparel Corp.
and Hugo Boss Fashions Inc., is the third significant executive hired by American
Apparel in recent months. In October, former Blockbuster executive Tom Casey
was named acting president at American Apparel, and last month former Old Navy
executive John Luttrell was hired as the supplier’s chief financial officer.
American Apparel is taking steps to strengthen its executive staff, the Los
Angeles-based company is also facing increased scrutiny over the alleged
actions of its founder and CEO Dov Charney.
In less than a month’s time, Charney has been sued
twice, accused of sexual harassment by several former American Apparel
first suit, plaintiff Irene Morales accuses Charney
of consistently inappropriate behavior toward her. In the second suit, filed
just last week, former employees Kimbra Lo, Alyssa
Ferguson, Marissa Wilson and Tesa Lubans-Dehaven
also accuse Charney of inappropriate behavior.
statements, American Apparel has called the suits baseless, partly because of
arbitration and confidentiality agreements the employees signed when they were
hired at the company. Last week, a Brooklyn, NY, judge said she may dismiss the lawsuit filed by
Morales, who seeks $250 million in damages. Charney
has not publicly commented about either case, although lawyers for American
Apparel and Charney say they expect the cases to be
dismissed. Records show Charney, who increased his
ownership stake in American Apparel last week from 51% to 54%, has been sued at
least four times since the mid-2000s, with each of those suits being dismissed
or settled out of court.
Apparel, ranked by Counselor as the 12th largest supplier in the ad specialty
industry, reported North American promotional product sales of $88.6 million in
2010, a 1.6% decline from 2009.