A&F splits the CEO and chairman roles…finally

A brief comment from RetailWire follows, on the topic of Abercrombie and Fitch. The company announced (after yet another weak year) that its longtime CEO, Michael Jeffries, is losing his chairman title. The question posed to panelists was whether this should be a more common practice; my view is that it depends on circumstances:

There is no “right answer” about whether the chair/CEO split is the most effective way to good governance. In this particular case, however, it’s a clear — and long overdue — signal that Mr. Jeffries has not been answerable to anybody for years. The puzzle is in the timing: Given the long history of weak performance at A&F, why the change in corporate structure right after awarding a new contract to the CEO?

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