These photos of ousted American Apparel founder and Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney just surfaced on Instagram yesterday — and they show him to be in clear violation of his termination agreement.
Charney appears in two different photos taken about 19 hours ago at the American Apparel store on East Houston Street in New York. The user, @jensnow, writes: "Dov Charney is in the American Apparel store on East Houston Street. I asked the employees at the counter if it was him, and one nodded 'yes' tentatively, and the other asked me, 'And how was your day at work?' with an intonation of palpable discomfort." (Snow is a publicist.)
According to Charney's termination letter from June 18, a copy of which was obtained by BuzzFeed last month, the executive is not supposed to visit company facilities during his suspension. (The termination will be effective after a 30-day period.) That's "including but not limited to its manufacturing facilities, headquarters, distribution center, apartments and stores." The visit would be OK if Charney got "advance written permission" from the board, and the request was "tied directly to an attempt to cure the violations and misconduct" described in his termination letter.
Tobias Keller, American Apparel's interim general counsel, declined to comment beyond the letter. When asked about the visit by BuzzFeed, Charney said he's not doing interviews, adding, "You're on your own, buh-bye, thank you." Requests to the board for comment weren't immediately returned.
If Charney is found to be in violation of his termination contract, then "the board will consider such conduct an additional 'cause'" to end his employment, as per the letter. Charney's lawyer has called the charges baseless.
American Apparel is said to be in talks with hedge fund Standard General to replace members of its board and to potentially bring in new leadership. Charney's future role at the company he founded is unclear, and partially hinges on the results of an investigation that's being conducted by an outside consulting firm. He was fired on a long list of alleged misconduct last month.
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