Abercrombie & Fitch suspends payments to ex-CEO after sex-trafficking claims

Mike Jeffries is considered the modern-day-founder of A&F, who transformed the brand from a failing sporting goods chain into a multi-billion-dollar retailer aimed at teenagers. During his two decades in charge from the 1990s, he led the company’s global expansion and created offshoot brands including Hollister and Gilly Hicks. Mr Jeffries stepped down in 2014 following declining sales and left with a retirement package valued at around $25m (£20.5m), according to company filings at the time.As part of that package, A&F said he was entitled to monthly payments for life totalling about $1m a year, the filings add.This voluntary company retirement benefit – known as a supplemental executive retirement plan – is in addition to his standard pension. Records show Mr Jeffries has been receiving payments as recently as this year. A&F said the supplemental retirement plan payments to Mr Jeffries have been suspended but it could not comment further because of pending litigation. In a statement after the BBC’s initial investigation, the company said it had hired an “outside law firm” to independently investigate the claims raised.It added that the brand’s current executive leadership team and board of directors were “not aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct” by Mr Jeffries and that it has “zero tolerance for abuse, harassment or discrimination of any kind”.

Source link