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American Eagle Appoints Interim CEO

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Global specialty retailer, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO), named Jay L. Schottenstein as its Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), replacing Robert Hanson who departed from the company. Mr. Schottenstein already holds the position of Executive Chairman of the Board and will take over his temporary position effective immediately, while the board decides on the new CEO.

Jay Schottenstein served as the company’s CEO between Mar 1992 and Dec 2002. He has been serving as an Executive Chairman since the start of fiscal 2012 and as a Chairman since March 1992. In his new role as the Interim CEO, Jay Schottenstein aims to make the most out of the company’s brands portfolio while positioning it for growth and long-term success.

Further, the company revealed that Roger S. Markfield will continue to serve as the company’s Vice Chairman and Executive Creative Director. Associated with American Eagle since 1993, Markfield has decided to push back his retirement date. Additionally he has been among the company’s directors since 1999. Over his tenure, he contributed significantly to the company with his creative ideas and aided American Eagle evolve as a leading lifestyle apparel brand.

Meanwhile, the company announced that it continues to project fourth-quarter fiscal 2013 earnings in line with the guidance it laid down early in Jan 2014. Citing weak sales and comps trends during the holiday season, on Jan 9, the company skewed its earnings projection to dovetail with the lower-end of previously provided guidance range of 26 cents to 30 cents a share.

American Eagle, which operates over 1,000 stores globally, is not the only company to have cut its forecast due to lower-than-expected sales and margin pressure following intense price competition that resulted in huge discounts.

Retailers that lowered guidance battered by the holiday results include Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO), Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN) and L Brands Inc. (LB).

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