NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- J.Crew Group, Inc. (the "Company") announced today that Millard "Mickey" Drexler, chairman and former chief executive officer of J.Crew, has retired to devote his full time to the development of Drexler Ventures, LLC and other interests. The Company's Board of Directors has elected Chad Leat to succeed Mr. Drexler as chairman, effective immediately. Mr. Leat has served as a director of J.Crew since January 2017. Mr. Drexler will continue to serve as a strategic advisor to the Office of the CEO and the board.
"It's been a privilege to have had more than 15 years with J.Crew Group both as CEO and chairman of the board. J.Crew and Madewell have been long admired as iconic American brands, and I am thankful to have been a part of their evolution throughout the years," said Mr. Drexler. "I look forward to working with the Office of the CEO and the board as a strategic advisor to help support J.Crew's long term success."
"I'm honored to serve as the next chairman of J.Crew," said Mr. Leat. "Importantly, I want to recognize Mickey for his years of invaluable contributions to the business and to the J.Crew brand, and to thank him for his continued strategic counsel to the board and the Office of the CEO. As chairman, my priorities will be to ensure that the J.Crew brand moves quickly to capitalize on recent momentum and to support Madewell's growth towards becoming a one billion dollar brand, while also working with the board to identify strong, permanent leadership to guide the Company in its next chapter."
Mickey Drexler joined J.Crew as CEO in 2003. Under his leadership, J.Crew grew into a leading global fashion brand. In 2006, Mr. Drexler also founded Madewell. Mr. Drexler retired from the CEO role in July 2017, and subsequently founded Drexler Ventures to invest in and advise emerging brands, including Outdoor Voices and Warby Parker. Prior to J.Crew, Mr. Drexler spent 18 years at Gap, Inc., where he was named President in 1987 and CEO in 1995. While at Gap, he founded Old Navy and launched Gap Kids and led the company during a period of significant growth. Before joining Gap in 1983, Drexler served as President and CEO of Ann Taylor from 1980 to 1983. Mr. Drexler currently serves as chairman of Outdoor Voices and is a board member at Warby Parker. He also previously served as a director of Apple Inc. from 1999 to 2015.
Chad Leat is a retired vice chairman of Global Banking at Citigroup with nearly 30 years of markets and banking experience. He is an acknowledged leader and innovator in corporate credit and M&A finance, and has built and led numerous successful and profitable businesses at Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and their predecessor companies. Mr. Leat currently serves on the Board of Directors of Norwegian Cruise Line and TPG Pace Holdings Corp. (TPGH.UN), and as chairman of MidCap Financial, PLC. Mr. Leat also is dedicated to many civic and philanthropic organizations. He has served on the boards of several charitable organizations, and is currently a member of Economic Club of New York and a trustee of the Parrish Art Museum.
About J.Crew Group, Inc.
J.Crew Group, Inc. is an internationally recognized omni-channel retailer of women's, men's and children's apparel, shoes and accessories. As of November 29, 2018, the Company operates 227 J.Crew retail stores, 127 Madewell stores, jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com, madewell.com, and 175 factory stores (including 42 J.Crew Mercantile stores). Certain product, press release and SEC filing information concerning the Company are available at the Company's website www.jcrew.com.
Certain statements herein are "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectations or beliefs concerning future events, and actual results of operations may differ materially from historical results or current expectations. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including the Company's substantial indebtedness, its substantial lease obligations, its ability to anticipate and timely respond to changes in trends and consumer preferences, the strength of the global economy, competitive market conditions, its ability to attract and retain key personnel, its ability to successfully develop, launch and grow its newer concepts and execute on strategic initiatives, product offerings, sales channels and businesses, its ability to implement its growth strategy, material disruption to its information systems, its ability to implement its real estate strategy, changes in demographic patterns, adverse or unseasonable weather or other interruptions in its foreign sourcing operations and other factors which are set forth in the section entitled "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in all filings with the SEC made subsequent to the filing of the Form 10-K. Because of the factors described above and the inherent uncertainty of predicting future events, the Company cautions you against relying on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.