Years of sexual harassment lawsuits and negative publicity have finally caught up with Dov Charney. On Wednesday, American Apparel's board of directors voted to oust the company's CEO and founder due to an "ongoing investigation" into "alleged misconduct." The board appointed CFO John Luttrell as interim chief executive.
Charney will serve a contractual 30-day suspension, and then the board will fire him for cause, The Wall Street Journal reports. "We take no joy in this, but the board felt it was the right thing to do," Allan Mayer, a director of American Apparel, said in a statement. "Dov Charney created American Apparel, but the company has grown much larger than any one individual and we are confident that its greatest days are still ahead."
A source close to Charney told the Los Angeles Times that Charney was shocked by the board's move. "He was totally taken by surprise, which is part of the problem," the source said. "He's going to fight like hell to get this company back, but he won't succeed."
Charney founded American Apparel in 1998, and is known for using sexually suggestive advertisements. According to an American Apparel regulatory filing in April, Charney and board members are parties to lawsuits filed in Los Angeles and New York alleging "sexual harassment, assault and battery, impersonation through the internet, defamation, and other related claims."