Sixteen years after he founded the company, American Apparel CEO Dov Charney has been tossed out, effective immediately, and voted off of the board he previously chaired. According to a press release put out by the company, the decision was prompted by “an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct.”
A company spokesman told Quartz he had no additional information. But the fact that Charney has been so summarily dismissed, after a long and troubled history running the company, suggests that the misconduct involved is pretty spectacular. (Bolstering that theory, the company doesn’t even have a picture or bio of its new CEO and long-time CFO John Lattrell on its website.)
After all, the list of things Charney both allegedly and actually did in the past that didn’t result in his being ousted from the CEO spot—despite repeated suggestions from analysts and columnists that he should be—is extensive. It includes (but is not limited to):
- Hiring illegal immigrants to work in its US factory.
- Allegedly sexually harassing and assaulting numerous female employees, resulting in a slew of lawsuits. (Most of these were settled without costing the company any money.)
- Trying to choke a male employee and throwing dirt at him.
- Running a company that hasn’t made an annual profit since 2009.
- Running a company whose stock has rarely traded over $2 since April of 2013.
In February, Charney told Buzzfeed he wasn’t lining up a successor, and that he didn’t “have people bursting in my house yet telling me to take a hike.” Maybe, in ten years, he might look into passing the torch. “Right now, I’m just figuring where I want to drive the bus,” he said.
That bus now appears to be driving itself.