November 16, 2011, 12:21 PM

American Eagle Outfitters hires a new CEO

Levi’s Robert Hanson will succeed Jim O’Donnell, who is retiring.

Lead Photo

Robert Hanson

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. today announced that it has hired Robert Hanson as its new chief executive. Hanson will replace Jim O’Donnell, who is retiring having joined the company in 2002.

Hanson comes to the apparel retailer, No. 57 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, after 23 years at Levi Strauss & Co., No. 351 in the Guide, where he held a variety of marketing and brand development roles. He most recently served as global president of the Levi’s brand, where he led the retail, e-commerce and wholesale sales channels for the Americas, Europe and Asia, American Eagle says.

“I am truly thrilled with the opportunity to lead American Eagle Outfitters through the next phase of growth and leverage its extensive assets,” Hanson says. He will start with the retailer at the end of January. He will also be a member of the company’s board of directors.

Commenting on the hire, American Eagle Outfitters chairman Jay Schottenstein calls Hanson the ideal person to help build the retailer’s brand portfolio in North American and in global markets new to the retailer. Currently, AE.com ships to consumers in 77 countries. The retailer has bricks-and-mortar stores in the United States and Canada.

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