The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces Appointment of New Board Members
The Wet Seal, Inc. (Nasdaq: WTSLA), a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced the appointment of four new members to its Board of Directors and the appointment of Lynda J. Davey as Chairman of the Board. The Board of Directors also established chairmen and members for the Nominating and Governance, Compensation and Audit committees of the Board.
New Board Members
Effective October 4, 2012, four new Directors joined the Company's Board of Directors: Dorrit M. Bern, Lynda J. Davey, Mindy C. Meads and John S. Mills. Today, Ms. Davey was appointed the Chairman of the Board. The newly appointed Directors filled four vacancies created by the resignations of Harold D. Kahn, Jonathan Duskin, Sidney M. Horn and Henry D. Winterstern. The new Directors joined continuing members Kathy Bronstein, John D. Goodman and Kenneth M. Reiss.
Lynda J. Davey has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avalon Group Ltd, a boutique investment bank, and Avalon Securities Ltd, one of the few woman-owned FINRA and SEC-registered broker-dealers, since she co-founded the companies in 1992. Prior to Avalon, Ms. Davey was President of Tribeca Corp., a merchant bank, and worked at Salomon Brothers Inc. Ms. Davey currently serves on the board and chairs the Audit Committee of the Girl Scouts Council of Greater New York and is a Manager of Verite Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment fund. She also served on the Advisory Council of Wells Fargo's Capital Finance Group and its predecessor entity, the Paragon Capital Retail Group. She has previously served as a board member and Chairman of the Audit Committee for ICTS International, and as a board member of Tuffy Associates Corp., Jane Cosmetics, and Textus Industries, Inc. In addition, Ms. Davey was a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Center for Design Innovation.
Ms. Davey commented, “On behalf of the all of the Company's new Directors, we are very pleased to be joining the Board of Directors of Wet Seal and look forward to working with the other members of the Board to assist in developing a strategic plan that will rejuvenate sales and improve profitability. Wet Seal has a strong heritage in the junior and young contemporary retail spaces, with a significant opportunity to achieve strong sales and earnings growth over the long term with the right leadership in place. With the inclusion of new members, the Board of Directors possesses extensive backgrounds in the apparel retail industry, including in the areas of operations, finance and merchandising, as well as experience in turnaround situations. I strongly believe that, collectively, we have the qualifications necessary to put Wet Seal on the path to recovery.”
Dorrit M. Bern served as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of Charming Shoppes, Inc. from 1995 to 2008. During her tenure Ms. Bern grew the corporation from a $1 billion single-channel, bricks-and-mortar retailer, to a $3 billion multi-channel corporation. Prior to that time, Ms. Bern was Group Vice-President of women's apparel and home fashions for Sears, Roebuck and Co. Ms. Bern served on the board of directors of Southern Company, Brunswick Corporation and OfficeMax Inc. In addition, Ms. Bern was a trustee for Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, a REIT specializing in shopping malls and power centers in the eastern United States.
Mindy C. Meads held the position of President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Aeropostale, Inc. from 2007 to 2010, where she reinvigorated the merchandise assortment, strengthened the fashion value equation and led the development and successful launch of "P.S.," Aeropostale's Kids Division. Prior to this, Ms. Meads served as Chief Executive Officer of Lands' End, the apparel retailer that is now a division of Sears Holding Corporation. Prior to that time, Ms. Meads held a variety of executive merchandising and operating positions at Lands' End, Sears, Gymboree, The Limited and R.H. Macy's. She is a former director of the Federal Reserve Board for the 7th District (Chicago) and currently serves on the board of directors of Mela Sciences, Inc. and is a member of The Committee of 200, America's Women Business Leaders.
John S. Mills has served as President of SDE, a consulting firm that specializes in the retail sector, store operations and growth strategies, since 2006. From 2004 to 2006, he served as Chairman of the Board of G and G Stores Inc., a specialty retailer focused on teenage women. Prior to this, Mr. Mills served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Aeropostale Inc. From 1994 to 1998, he held several executive positions in operations for Federated Specialty Stores. Mr. Mills has served as a private advisor to Cerberus Capital and Rosewood Capital and currently serves on the boards of directors of Marc Ecko Enterprises, and VILLA, Inc., an apparel and footwear retailer.
Board Committee Chairmen and Members
Ms. Meads has been appointed chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board, which includes Ms. Bronstein, Mr. Reiss and Mr. Goodman as members.
Ms. Bern has been appointed chairman of the Compensation Committee of the Board, which includes Ms. Bronstein, Mr. Mills, Ms. Davey and Ms. Meads as members.
Lastly, Mr. Reiss will continue to serve as the chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board, which includes Ms. Bern, Mr. Goodman and Mr. Mills as members.
About The Wet Seal, Inc.
Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, The Wet Seal, Inc. is a leading specialty retailer of fashionable and contemporary apparel and accessory items. As of September 29, 2012, the Company operated a total of 554 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico, including 473 Wet Seal stores and 81 Arden B stores. The Company's products can also be purchased online at www.wetseal.com or www.ardenb.com.
For more Company information, visit www.wetsealinc.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995: This news release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements that relate to the intent, belief, plans or expectations of the Company or its management. All forward-looking statements made by the Company involve material risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on factors beyond the Company's control. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Wet Seal, Inc.
Steven H. Benrubi