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Check Out Line: Crowd at top of Aerospostale

September 24, 2009

aeropostale1Check out who’s in charge at Aeropostale
 
No, seriously, who is in charge?
 
The company announced today that Julian Geiger was leaving the teen apparel retailer. (The press release was apparently written under the auspices of the Lawyers Full Employment Act.)
 
But instead of appointing one leader, Aeropostale went with co-CEOs. President and Chief Merchandising Officer Mindy Meads and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Johnson were named to share the top spot.
 
The news release does not detail how Meads and Johnson will divide the CEO duties.
 
What we do know is that the history of corporate America is punctuated with co-CEO arrangements that have gone awry.
 
When Kraft was spun out from Altria in 2001, Roger Deromedi and Betsy Holden were named co-CEOs. The relationship ended with Holden being demoted in late 2003, and eventually leaving the company. Kraft continued to struggle with lackluster innovation and seemingly ever-present restructuring, and Deromedi was out by 2006.
 
John Reed and Sanford Weill ran Citigroup together for a while before falling out. Reed even left the corporate world for a time.
 
A deep executive bench is always a plus, but in the end, one person at the top seems to be the final answer.
 
Also in the basket:
 
Rite Aid cuts view after latest loss; shares skid
 
H&M August sales disappoint as shoppers hunt for bargains
 
Buffett sings praises of a Chinese suit (WSJ)

(Photo/Reuters)

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