Abercrombie & Fitch’s controversial CEO Michael Jeffries steps down as sales struggle

The chief executive of struggling fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Jeffries, has stepped down from his role following a turbulent few years for the brand which has been hit by a fall in sales and negative consumer sentiment over Jeffries’ controversial remarks.

Jeffries has left the business with immediate effect and his departure has seen Abercrombie & Fitch's current non-executive chairman, Arthur Martinez, promoted to executive chairman, while an office for Martinez has been created consisting of Jonathan Ramsden, chief operating officer, Christos Angelides, brand president of Abercrombie & Fitch and Fran Horowitz, brand president of sister brand Hollister.

The new team will oversee the company's strategic direction and be responsible for managing day-to-day operations until a new chief executive is appointed.

In August Abercrombie & Fitch decided to scrap its logo in a bid to tempt back shoppers as sales fell by six per cent to $891m.

The retailer has been hit by the advancement of cheaper, fast-fashion outlets such as H&M and Forever 21, and made the move to push forward with alternative clothing lines such as a new Back-to-School collection, which was released ahead of the Autumn/Winter season.

In May 2013 a PR storm erupted around Abercrombie & Fitch when an online article accused Jeffries of excluding larger sized customers and catering only to “thin and beautiful” people.