American Apparel hires new Chief Financial Officer

American Apparel hires new Chief Financial Officer
American Apparel's Melrose Ave store in Los Angeles at night (Photo courtesy of American Apparel)

By Jon Whiteaker - 10:38AM - Mon 7th February 2011

US-based fashion retailer, manufacturer and distributor American Apparel has confirmed the appointment of John Luttrell as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Luttrell has previous retail experience with Old Navy where he was CFO from 2007 to 2008 and before this he held the same position at Wets Seal and Cost Plus.

After a worrying statement in August in which CEO Dov Charney admitted that the business might not survive the next 12 months, American Apparel has committed to significant restructuring with Tom Casey taking over as Acting President in October.

“I am pleased with the depth that we are continuing to add to our management team,” Charney commented.

“John has demonstrable past success with building and improving management infrastructure, including a history of building world class finance and accounting teams through careful development of existing talent.

“He will be a welcome addition to our management team as we perfect our operating procedures and improve efficiency and financial performance.”

Existing CFO Adrian Kowalewski is to become Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy, after inheriting the finance role at the height of the credit crunch in 2008.

Although the overall economy has improved since then, the retailer’s position is still precarious but Luttrell will be fully aware how difficult his new role will be.

In its third quarter ending September 30th, American Apparel reported losses of $8 million (£5 million) compared to income from operations of $11.2 million of Q3 in 2009.

“Having had experience in rapidly growing retail environments, I have great respect for the organisation that has been built at American Apparel,” Luttrell said.

“Without question the company has undergone some unprecedented challenges that have impaired its recent financial performance.

“My challenge is to leverage the existing business model by engaging in intelligent cost cutting, and providing a platform for the business to accelerate top line sales growth.”

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