Magnet For Sexual Assault Claims Also Something Of A Micromanager

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As American Apparel executives scrambled to pay vendors this spring, they frequently ran into a frustrating problem: Where were the checks? Many times, the answer was Chief Executive Dov Charney's Los Angeles mansion. Starting early this year, Mr. Charney began signing all of the company's checks—hundreds of them every month—one of several bottlenecks that plagued the fashion chain as its finances withered, people familiar with the situation said. Mr. Charney's sexual antics have commanded the headlines, but beneath the salacious details was a business that had fallen into almost complete disarray, the people said. American Apparel, a major retailer with 10,000 employees and 249 stores, lacked seasoned executives, which often required Mr. Charney to dive in to fix problems. The general counsel was personally managing the company's fleet of stores. This spring, the legal department was reduced to two people. And Mr. Charney was swimming in checks. They were delivered by assistants to his office or home, where they would pile up for weeks before resurfacing in the accounts-payable department, the people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Charney purposely held the checks while he investigated whether the amounts were correct, said a person familiar with his thinking. [WSJ]

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American Apparel CEO: Numerous Lawsuits Against Me Are A Testament To My Awesomeness

Has the profitability of your company come into question of late? Have you been sued many, many times, typically for sexual harassment? Want to set the record straight but are unsure of what to say? Perhaps Dov Charney can help. In an interview with CNBC today, Charney told Jane Wells that any suggestion that American Apparel can't turn a profit on its mesh unitards, gold lamé leggings, and fishnet bodysuits is totally off based. "I think you're casting [the business] in the wrong light to say it's unprofitable," Charney said. "From accounting perspective, from 20 feet up, yeah, it's unprofitable. But if you get down to the numbers...we're getting our groove back." There was also this exchange. Wells: I've counted, what is it, nine lawsuits against you? That's  a lot. Charney: Yeah. It's also a testimony to my success. Wells: Do you think you're inappropriate at all? Charney: No. Wells: The range of criticism is everything from sexual predator to just...weird. Charney: Well, you know, I mean, weird? I like weird...Many of the great entrepreneurs of the last century have been criticized for being somewhat different. Wells: Do you see yourself as a Steve Jobs meets Hugh Hefner type? Charney: That wouldn't be for me to say. American Apparel CEO: Tattered But Not Torn [CNBC]