AE Taps Urban Exec as New Merchandising/Design Chief

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. reports that Chad Kessler has been appointed executive vice president, chief merchandising and design officer for the American Eagle Outfitters brand, reporting to CEO Robert Hanson. Chad begins in his new role on Feb. 3, 2014, succeeding Fred Grover, who will stay with the company to ensure a smooth transition through mid-year before retiring from AEO.

Hanson noted, "As we further build our creative talent, we are pleased to welcome Chad to AEO. I thank Fred for his vast accomplishments over the years and his commitment to ensure a smooth transition. Fred has played an integral leadership role in building the AE brand and organization that we are all so proud of today.

"Chad is a top talent in the business, bringing us a depth of experience in U.S. specialty youth brands, as well as recent experiences in global luxury and multi-channel merchandising and design. He will be an incredible asset and will complement our highly talented team," Hanson continued. "I look forward to his many contributions as we continue our work to fortify and transform American Eagle Outfitters to a global, omni-channel brand."

Chad Kessler joins AEO with an extensive background in retail apparel, including his most recent role as chief merchandising officer for the Urban Outfitters Brand. From 1994 to 2010, Chad served in merchandising roles at Abercrombie & Fitch, rising to executive vice president, female merchandising, and was instrumental in the successful launch of new brands. He also served as senior vice president of corporate merchandising for Coach from 2010 to 2011.
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