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Mickey Drexler Steps Down as J.Crew CEO

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Mickey Drexler will step down as CEO of J.Crew and the outlook for the brand may be bleak.

Drexler will move on after 14 years with the company and West Elm president Jim Brett will move in starting in July.

“This is an exciting time for J.Crew as we continue to make significant changes to position our company for long-term success,” Drexler said in a statement Monday. “As chairman and an owner of the company, it is my responsibility to focus on the future of J.Crew and find the right leadership to execute on our strategic plans.”

Drexler’s departure comes on the heels of the soon-to-be-former CEO saying he missed out on getting ahead of technology’s impact on retail, and that certain product in the store would see prices reduced in an effort to stimulate sales.

Read more about J.Crew getting cutting prices: J.Crew to Get Cheaper as Drexler Admits to Missing the Mark)

The news also follows long-time designer Jenna Lyons’ departure from the company in April. Recent J.Crew financials paint a dismal picture too: sales at stores open at least a year have declined for 10 straight quarters, and in the most recent quarter, sales were down 5 percent to $572.6 million.

Drexler will continue in his role as chairman and is expected to help Brett in the transition.

“Jim has a proven track record of pushing for innovation and growing omnichannel brands,” Drexler said. “I look forward to moving into my new role and assist Jim and the team in every way possible to help ensure a smooth and successful transition.”

Brett, who had been with West Elm as president since 2010, counts among his successes growing West Elm to become a $1 billion global brand. Brett’s past roles include stints at Urban Outfitters, Inc., J.C. Penney and May Department Stores Company.

“I’m honored to work with J.Crew’s talented team of leaders, board of directors and Mickey, who have built an iconic American brand,” Brett said. “J.Crew has tremendous opportunity to play a more meaningful role in our lives, and I look forward to leading it through its next phase of growth.”

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