- Kristopher Fraser |
The man behind the iconic place for affordable suiting, David Edwab, is set to retire. For 30 years Edwab has been the grandmaster behind and secret weapon at Men’s Wearhouse. He joined the company in 1991 and was instrumental in negotiating the acquisitions of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Today’s Man, JA Apparel, After Hours, and Moores. Edwab originally began at Men’s Wearhouse as an independent auditor in 1983.
In 1992, he spearheaded the company’s IPO, and if it weren’t for him they wouldn’t be the 3.5 billion dollar enterprise they are today. Of course when you turn a company into a billion dollar enterprise you can’t expect to just walk away quietly and enjoy the simple pleasures of retirement. The 61-year-old retail magician will stay on as vice chairman, and as a consultant to the brand.
The man behind the Men’s Wearhouse IPO retires
“We are pleased that he will continue to be accessible to management and that he will continue to serve on the board of directors,” Doug Ewert, CEO of Men’s Wearhouse, said in a press release. While 61 might seem like an early age for what looks to just be a partial retirement, when you have had the kind of success Edwab has you take the time to step back and focus on other things. Edwab cited a need to spend more time with his family and personal interests as reason for his juvenile retirement.
The biggest gold medal around Edwab’s neck aside from spear heading the massive IPO over twenty years ago would have to be the acquisition of Jos. A. Bank. The acquisition cost Men’s Wearhouse a whopping 1.8 billion dollars, but it was more than worth it. Once Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank are integrated they could easily become the largest seller of men’s apparel in America. They currently rank third behind Macy’s and Kohl’s, so, the competition will be pretty tough. No major deals will be made by Men’s Wearhouse anytime soon as they work on paying down the billion plus dollar debt from the deal, but, with sales looking so promising it looks like they will be in a good place.
When he joined the company in 1991 Edwab was Senior Vice president, Treasurer and Chief financial officer. In 1993, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. He was promoted again four years later to President. In 2000, he left Men’s Wearhouse to join Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. as a senior managing director and head of the retail group in the investment banking department. He rejoined the company in 2002 as vice chairman, a position he shall retain even though he is retired. With over 1700 stores between the U.S. and Canada and big plans for Jos. A. Bank, Men’s Wearhouse will still be happy to have Edwab on their side, even if he is in a less hands on role.