Abercrombie & Fitch executives say they’re being led by someone other than CEO Michael Jeffries: his partner.
Matthew Smith, who has been in a relationship with the openly gay Jeffries for the past decade, is intimately involved with the day-to-day operations at Abercrombie, reports Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed.
Smith has been involved in choosing Abercrombie locations, gets real estate briefings, and even keeps track of tidiness at stores, Maheshwari writes.
“It seems to be very unorthodox, and a governing body should have something to say about that, if in fact you have a person who is basically not an employee of the organisation coming in to look at the company’s papers and have access to things,” Katherine Phillips, a professor at Columbia Business School, told Buzzfeed.
Smith’s involvement at Abercrombie is just one of a litany of complaints board members have had about the CEO.
Last year, a lawsuit alleged that Jeffries micromanaged employees on the company’s private jet, giving his crew a stringent dress code and play making them play certain music on flights.
The CEO has also come under fire since Business Insider reported about his exclusion of plus-sized women in his clothing line.
Fans of Jeffries have said his conviction and attention to detail make him a great CEO.
But his critics feel that he lacks the flexibility needed to make it in today’s challenging environment.
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