American Apparel Employees Are Rallying Around Ousted CEO Dov Charney

Hundreds of American Apparel workers are rallying in support of ousted CEO and founder Dov Charney. 

Store associates, factory workers, and corporate employees are posting anonymous messages of support on the website [Editor’s note: Business Insider could not independently verify the identities of the workers who posted on]

American Apparel cut ties with Charney, who had been accused of misconduct, after a six-month investigation. The retailer just released a strict new code of conduct for employees.

“Without Dov Charney, you’ve not just assumed the reigns of a fledgling powerhouse, but you’ve extracted a vital pillar which keeps the brand afloat,” someone who says he is a former American Apparel employee and retail strategist wrote on the site. “His ingenious flair, intuitive aesthetic sentiment, and creative cunning are the glue which binds the brand.”

A person who says he is a store manager in Germany wrote that Charney shows a remarkable interest in workers’ lives. 

“It is not normal that a CEO is involved in daily business as much as Dov is, he knows what’s happening on the other side of the world and stays in contact with even the smallest employees,” the manager wrote. 

Another manager in Florida described a moment that shows that Charney isn’t the typical CEO. 

“On one of my many audits with Dov of the stores in New York, what really impressed me was when he got on his hands and knees to clean up gum from the floor or when he taught me how you really clean windows without leaving streaks,” the manager wrote. 

American apparel coloursREUTERS/Lucy NicholsonPeter Arispe from Mexico works as a quality control checker at the American Apparel factory in downtown Los Angeles.

American Apparel can’t be successful without Charney at the helm, one senior vice president writes. 

The executive worked with Charney for 10 years, opening 300 American Apparel stores. 

“Dov is the hardest working CEO anywhere,” the executive writes. “Always on the front line and in the trenches. He has an amazing working knowledge of every facet of the business from product production and design to marketing and sales.”

Workers also write they are fearful that without Charney, American Apparel will begin outsourcing labour to Third World countries. 

The company is famous for offering good pay and benefits to workers in its Los Angeles factory. 

Charney maintains he was betrayed by Standard General, a hedge fund that gave him a loan in July so he could boost his ownership of American Apparel.

Standard General controls his shares as collateral and put several members on American Apparel’s board. 

Do you work at American Apparel and want to discuss your experience? Please contact us at [email protected]

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