BUSINESS

Fired Founder: Men's Wearhouse 'Began Throwing Me Out Of My Office'

12/09/2013 12:00 pm ET | Updated Dec 10, 2013

The former face of Men's Wearhouse doesn't like the way the company looks, and he guarantees it in an recent interview with Fortune.

After being ousted from the company in June, founder George Zimmer slammed the board for its decision in an open letter. But he has been largely silent about the details of his abrupt departure since.

Breaking that silence for Fortune, Zimmer claimed the Men's Wearhouse board was "extremely harsh" to him, and that "they basically began throwing me out of my office."

"I got no severance," Zimmer told Fortune. "They even took my phone and cut off my insurance."

Zimmer opened the first Men's Wearhouse store in Houston in 1973 and oversaw the company's expansion to 1,143 locations and $2.48 billion in annual sales. Zimmer, with his signature tagline -- "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it" -- became an iconic figure in American advertising.

Zimmer said customers are deeply confused about why the public face of the company was tossed out.

"Hundreds of people, customers, have stopped me on the street to ask what happened. It's a very awkward situation for me, because they felt a connection," said Zimmer.

The founder also said that he's lost faith in the company he built from the ground up.

"It also seems to me that the company's culture is different," said Zimmer. "But the truth is that it's been drifting for several years."

Men's Wearhouse did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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