American Apparel has appointed Scott Brubaker as interim CEO. The Los Angeles retailer also named Hassan Natha as executive vice president and CFO thus replacing John Luttrell, who had been filling both roles after Founder Dov Charney was stripped of his chairmanship and removed as CEO in June in a stunning boardroom coup after the company alleged he had engaged in misconduct.
Brubaker is a turnaround consultant and managing director at Alvarez & Marsal, an advisory firm that specializes in performance improvement. He had been advising American Apparel since it hired Alvarez earlier this month and has served in interim officer and other advisory roles for specialty retailers and manufacturers for more than two decades. According to Alvarez & Marsal’s web site he specializes in business diagnostics, plan development and financial strategies for corporate turnarounds, acquisitions and restructurings. His notable clients include Eddie Bauer, Webvan, and Sunshine Biscuits. Natha joins American Apparel from Fisher Communications, where he also served as CFO. He also held that title at Jones Soda Company and spent 10 years with Nike.
Allan Mayer, American Apparel's co-chairman, said Brubaker and Natha would bolster the retailer's executive ranks. "We are confident that their experience and leadership will help the company achieve its goals,"
he said in an announcement of the moves.
The new executives face a daunting task to help the troubled retailer turn around its financial fortunes. Once one of the trendiest apparel retailers, American Apparel has deteriorated dramatically in recent years. It lost about $270 million in the last four years and is deeply in debt posting a $15 million net loss in the second quarter. In March, it sold $28.6 million in stock to meet debt obligations.
American Apparel got a lifeline in July when Standard General, a hedge fund, provided an emergency $25 million financing package. Meanwhile, the inquiry into Charney continues, though he’s staying on for now as a paid consultant.