September 10, 2007, 12:00 AM

Edmond Thomas returns to the Wet Seal as CEO

Thomas had been president and chief operating officer from 1992 to 2000 at The Wet Seal, which sells trendy apparel to teen-aged women. He leaves apparel retailer Tilly’s, where he is president and co-CEO.

Edmond Thomas has been given a three-year contract to serve as president and CEO of The Wet Seal Inc., a retailer of trendy apparel to teen-aged women where he served as president and chief operating officer from 1992 to 2000.

Thomas, 54, currently is president and CEO of apparel retailer Tilly’s Inc. “It was a difficult decision to leave Tilly’s,” Thomas says. “However, when The Wet Seal opportunity was presented to me, and I realized how well positioned it was for future growth, I decided I want to use my experience in that endeavor. I am thrilled to come back to a company I helped build for so many years.”

Thomas is expected to move into his new positions in October. At that time Joel Waller, who is now chairman and CEO, will step down from those roles. "I am excited about the selection of Ed Thomas,” Waller says. “He brings an intricate knowledge of our business that will allow him to immediately contribute in our efforts to solidify our brands and dramatically grow our franchise going forward.”

The Wet Seal, No. 313 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, sells online and through 467 stores, of which 375 are branded Wet Seal and 92 Arden B.

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