American Apparel Is Firing Its Pantsless CEO, Dov Charney

A blog about business and economics.
June 19 2014 10:20 AM

American Apparel Is Firing Dov Charney

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Goodbye Dov Charney. We, the media, will miss you dearly.

Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

American Apparel founder and CEO Dov Charney, the man who sold fashion-forward shoppers on pricey, made-in-the-U.S.A. basics using reliably porny ads, who was known to traipse around his company’s offices in his underwear, who famously pleasured himself in front of a female magazine reporter, who told said reporter, “I'm not saying I want to screw all the girls at work ... but if I fall in love at work it's going to be beautiful and sexual,” who perhaps unsurprisingly faced sexual harassment allegations from former employees, and who eventually saw his brainchild reduced to a penny stock as it bled money and sales while piling on debt, is getting fired. Last night, American Apparel's board issued a statement saying it had voted to terminate Charney “for cause.”

“This is not easy, but we felt the need to do what we did for the sake of the company,” Allan Mayer, the company’s new co-chairman, told the Los Angeles Times. “Our decision to do what we did was not the result of any problems with the company’s operations.”

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As you may have assumed, the Times reports that Charney’s ouster was related to “his personal conduct with women and poor judgment.” The board began investigating Charney this year after some sort of “new information came to light.” As for why they didn’t do this a few years ago, when lawsuits were already flying and journalists were having fun with stories about their "pantsless CEO," Mayer said: “a board can’t make decisions on the basis of rumors and stories in newspapers.”

Jordan Weissmann is Slate's senior business and economics correspondent.

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