Wet Seal’s Veteran CFO Resigns

Executive Moves

As of Thursday, October 9, 2014

Steven H. Benrubi, the long-serving chief financial officer of The Wet Seal Inc., resigned from the struggling juniors retailer.

Benrubi will work at his position until Dec. 1, and the Foothill Ranch, Calif.–based retailer has started a search for a replacement, Ed Thomas, Wet Seal’s chief executive officer, said in a brief announcement.

“I thank Steve for his service and loyal dedication to Wet Seal over the past nine years. Steve was an instrumental leader through many challenges and successes throughout his tenure. On behalf of the entire company, we wish him well in his future endeavors,” Thomas said.

No reason was given for the departure of Benrubi, who joined Wet Seal in 2005 and rose through the ranks to become CFO. Since then, he had been a dependable presence at Wet Seal during one of the toughest periods of its 53-year history.

In a three-year period when Wet Seal experienced a proxy battle, hired three different CEOs and experimented with different merchandising strategies, Benrubi was a familiar presence, delivering the company’s financial news during conference calls with Wall Street analysts. Wet Seal’s stock declined 4.84 percent to 59 cents the day after the Oct. 2 announcement of Benrubi’s resignation.

There was further action with Wet Seal stock on Oct. 8 when the Clinton Group sold 17 percent of its stake in the company, according to financial documents. The Clinton Group is the activist private-equity company that pushed for changes in the juniors retailer, including replacing former CEOs John D. Goodman and Susan P. McGalla.