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J.Crew Chairman Mickey Drexler to Leave the Company

Mickey Drexler’s tenure with J.Crew has come to an end.

The now former chairman and already former CEO of the American retailer said Friday that he’s retiring from the company, effective immediately, and will devote his attentions to Drexler Ventures, LLC and “other interests” full time. Drexler will still serve as a strategic advisor to both the CEO of J.Crew and its board of directors.

Drexler had joined J.Crew as CEO in 2003—a post he retired from in 2017—and during that time he grew the company into a global fashion brand. He also founded Madewell, the most successful of the banners under the J.Crew Group, during his tenure there.

“It’s been a privilege to have had more than 15 years with J.Crew Group both as CEO and chairman of the board. J.Crew and Madewell have been long admired as iconic American brands, and I am thankful to have been a part of their evolution throughout the years,” Drexler said in a statement released by J.Crew. “I look forward to working with the Office of the CEO and the board as a strategic advisor to help support J.Crew’s long term success.”

Drexler Ventures, which the former J.Crew chairman founded after stepping down from his CEO post, was established to invest in and advise emerging brands—two of which are Outdoor Voices, where Drexler is currently chairman, and Warby Parker, whose board Drexler sits on.

J.Crew’s board of directors has named Chad Leat as Drexler’s successor, who took on the role as chairman when Drexler stepped down Friday. Leat has been on the board at J.Crew since 2017.

“As chairman, my priorities will be to ensure that the J.Crew brand moves quickly to capitalize on recent momentum and to support Madewell’s growth towards becoming a one billion dollar brand, while also working with the board to identify strong, permanent leadership to guide the company in its next chapter.”