Chelsea Grayson has officially taken over as CEO of Top 40 supplier American Apparel (asi/35297), a spokesperson confirmed to Counselor. Grayson’s appointment comes after reports that Paula Schneider resigned from the company, effective October 3. Although the company hasn’t made a public announcement, Schneider’s LinkedIn page has no mention of her time at American Apparel listed.
Grayson joined the company in November of 2014 and served as the company’s general counsel and chief administrative officer. Prior to American Apparel she was a partner at Loeb & Loeb and also spent 13 years in the Mergers & Acquisitions practice of law firm Jones Day. On her LinkedIn page she lists her specialties, including “Mergers and acquisitions, distressed mergers and acquisitions, private placements of equity and debt securities (both issuer and venture capital fund representations)” and more.
Grayson’s appointment comes one month after reports that American Apparel has hired global investment bank Houlihan Lokey to explore a sale. Sources told The Los Angeles Times that Schneider was departing for personal reasons, but in Schneider’s resignation to the board, which was obtained by Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), Schneider said “the sale process currently underway for all or part of the company may not enable us to pursue the course of action necessary for the plan to succeed nor allow the brand to stay true to its ideals. Therefore, after much deliberation, and with a heavy heart, I’ve come to the conclusion it is time for me to resign as CEO.”
Schneider’s exit follows the recent departure of former Liz Claiborne Inc. chairman and CEO Paul R. Charron, who was appointed to lead the board in March. He was succeeded by Brad Scher, founder and managing member of New York consulting firm Ocean Ridge Capital Advisors.
In a letter distributed to company employees, which was also obtained by WWD, Scher said American Apparel has “been evaluating opportunities to attract investors to fuel the growth of the brand. Business will continue as usual.”
Besides confirming Grayon’s status as the current CEO, a company spokeswoman declined to comment on the record regarding Schneider’s departure.
American Apparel ranks 16th on Counselor’s list of top 40 suppliers, with estimated 2015 revenue of $98.5 million.