Wet Seal Announces Workforce Reductions, Executive Leaving

The company is eliminating 35 positions, though some are already vacant.

The Wet Seal, Inc., whose corporate office is in Foothill Ranch, announced Friday the resignation of its chief operating officer and the elimination of nearly three dozen jobs.

Wet Seal runs retail clothing stores targeting young women, today announced the resignation of a top executive and workforce reductions.

Ken Seipel, the company's president and chief operating officer, has resigned to pursue other job opportunities, according to a company statement. At the same time, the company has eliminated the position of COO.

John Goodman, chief executive officer, will assume leadership over store operations, e-commerce and construction functions, while Steve H. Benrubi, the company's chief financial officer, will be in charge of information technology and real estate.

Wet Seal has also implemented a workforce reduction of 35 positions, of which a portion are currently vacant jobs, to align with its current business plan.

Of that number, 32 positions were eliminated in the company's corporate offices in Foothill Ranch and three were axed in the field.

Including the elimination of the COO position, the reductions are expected to result in annualized pre-tax savings of about $3.8 million, beginning in fiscal 2013, and the company expects to incur one-time severance charges of about $1.3 million in its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, the company said.

Last summer, Wet Seal fired its CEO amid declining sales.

Wet Seal specializes in apparel and accessories for young women. As of Dec. 29, 2012, the company operated 475 Wet Seal and 80 Arden B stores in 47 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The company's products can also be purchased online.

—City News Service


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