J.Crew gets new CEO; Mickey Drexler still chairman

Crew store in New York. James Brett the president of home decor chain West Elm will take over as chief executive of J. Crew in July. Drexler the retail

Drexler, who is credited with making apparel retailer Gap Inc's a global brand, will continue in his role as the J.Crew's chairman.

On Monday, privately held J. Crew confirmed that 72-year-old Drexler will step down in a decision that he said was his own. He will remain as chairman of J.Crew, the company said in a statement announcing the changes.

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"Jim has a proven track record of pushing for innovation and growing omni-channel brands", said Drexler in his statement.

In the WSJ interview, Drexler noted that the retailer's biggest mistake in recent years was increasing prices at a time when customers were becoming more price-conscious. He also previously served on Apple's (aapl) board, but retired in 2015. Comparable sales at J.Crew fell 6.7% in 2016, on top of an 8.2% drop the year before. The move comes as the future of J. Crew seems to be in flux, and just months after Jenna Lyons, the creative yin to Drexler's business minded yang, stepped down as the company's creative director and president.

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But times have been tough lately for J.Crew as it faces debt issues and competition from fast fashion. "J.Crew has tremendous opportunity to play a more meaningful role in our lives, and I look forward to leading it through its next phase of growth". While J. Crew has a website and was originally known as a catalog business, it still depends on hundreds of retail stores to book sales. E-commerce built brands are more nimble as it relates to marketing and distributing to newer, web-savvy millennial customers. In March, J. Crew, which is backed by private equity firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, reported that revenue fell 2 percent, to $695 million, in its fiscal quarter ending January 28. When the retailer went public in 2006, Drexler was hailed as the "makeover man".

J.Crew is owned by private equity firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners.

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