Dov Charney was fired by American Apparel this week after a long run of the CEO’s alleged bad behavior, not to mention plummeting stock prices.
The former CEO has made headlines both for championing of U.S. manufacturing and support of immigrant workers, but he’s also gained notoriety.
His company’s extremely sexual ads featuring young women are a non-stop source of controversy, as are several lawsuits he’s attracted for sexual harassment.
Charney, 45, was unanimously fired Wednesday night because of an “ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct,” according to a statement from the company.
The bottom line had plenty to do with it. Boards will put up with an enormous amount when there’s results, which for a long time he produced. Not recently.
American Apparel shares are down from an all-time high of about $27 in July of 2007 to about 68 cents Thursday. It has lost half its value this year alone.
The company, founded on Charney’s love for a plain T-shirt, hasn’t done enough to evolve beyond basics, while adding more liabilities by the month.
Former American Apparel employee Kimbra Lo filed a California Superior Court lawsuit accusing him of sexually assaulting her in 2010 at his home.
Charney appeared in the doorway of the Los Angeles home “wearing only a towel,” then grabbed Lo “and violently kissed her,” the lawsuit charged.
She believed she was arriving for an interview. When she protested and started to leave, Charney apologized and said they’d “just talk about business.”
Instead, he led Lo into his bedroom and “forced her to perform sexual acts,” becoming “more aggressive and violent” when she made any effort to resist.
Three other female employees who are plaintiffs in the case separately alleged they were required to sign purported arbitration agreements when hired.
The agreements were designed to “keep employees from disclosing unlawful conduct” by executives, as well as force the women “into an unfair forum.”
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Dov Charney, American Apparel CEO, Fired By Board Over Alleged Misconduct