J.Crew CEO James Brett steps down after short tenure

A customer walks into a clothing retailer J.Crew store in Manhattan, New York, March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - J.Crew Group Inc, known for its preppy men’s and women’s clothing, said on Saturday that its Chief Executive Officer James Brett is leaving the company, effective immediately.

The decision, which leaves the retailer without a CEO ahead of the key holiday shopping season, was described in a statement as a mutual agreement between Brett and the New York-based company’s board of directors.

Brett, a long-time retail veteran who was named to the job in June 2017, said he and the board were “unable to bridge our beliefs on how to continue to evolve all aspects of the company.”

He had replaced retail legend Mickey Drexler, who remains chairman of the J.Crew board.

In the company’s second quarter, it said same-store sale rose 5 percent following a decrease of 5 percent in the same quarter last year. Net losses in the quarter totaled $6.1 million, down from $18.5 million a year earlier.

The executive’s responsibilities will be assumed by an office of the CEO, comprised of four senior J.Crew executives including President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Nicholson.

That office will manage the company’s operations as the board works to establish a permanent management structure, according to J.Crew.

Reporting by Anna Driver, editing by G Crosse