What is Mike Jeffries's net worth and Salary?
Mike Jeffries is an American businessman who has a net worth of $300 million. Mike Jeffries is best known for serving as CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch from 1992 through 2014, a period that marked the brand's rise from bankruptcy to one of the most valuable retailers on the planet, followed by another fall from grace.
Early Life and Education
Mike Jeffries was born in Oklahoma on July 15, 1944. He raised in Los Angeles where his father owned a chain of retail stores called Party Time. After graduating from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Economics in 1966 he then went on to attend Columbia Business School, earning an MBA in 1968. Mike also spent some time studying at the London School of Economics.
After completing his degrees, he worked for various retailers. He spent time in the management training program at Abraham & Strauss, a New York City department store. In 1984 Mike launched his own company, Alcott & Andrews. The company went bankrupt five years later. Next, Mike went to work for a Midwest-based clothing brand called Paul Harris.
Abercrombie & Fitch
In 1988, the century-old Abercrombie & Fitch was purchased out of bankruptcy by Leslie Wexner's Limited Brands. Soon after the acquisition, Wexner brought Jeffries on board. He was named CEO in 1992.
Due to the brand's low prospects and recent bankruptcy, management was not particularly interested in running the company themselves, and gave Mike Jeffries almost total control.
Over the next decade Mike completely retooled the brand. Thanks to its refreshed and sexier brand image, Abercrombie became immensely popular among teenagers around the world. One of Abercrombie's primary strategies was to exclusively hire attractive employees.
According to Jeffries at the time:
"We hire good looking people in our stores because good looking people attract other good looking people and we want to market to cool, good looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that." – Mike Jeffries
At the peak of the brand's success in the late 1990s/early 2000s, Abercrombie was known for employing shirtless men and scantily-clad women as store greeters. Its stores were also known for blaring music and constantly spritzing cologne and perfume in the air. Unfortunately, over time Abercrombie lost its cool. Sales slumped to extreme lows after the 2008 financial crisis.
In December 2013, Mike was named the "worst CEO of 2013" by analyst Herb Greenberg after Abercrombie's stock fell 40% in the previous 12 months. Jim Cramer from CNBC also put Jeffries on his "Wall of Shame."
Mike Jeffries stepped down as CEO on December 9, 2014 after 11 straight quarters of poor performance.
At his peak Mike owned 3% of Abercrombie's the company's shares. If he still owns that 3% stake today, at the company's current $2 billion market cap, his shares are worth around $60 million. At the peak of the company's stock price in late 2007, his 3% stake was worth around $100 million.
Outside of equity, Mike received hundreds of millions of dollars in salary and bonus compensation. Mike earned $30 million per year or more between 2004 and 2007. In 2008 he was paid $72 million. In 2009, $36.3 million. In 2010 $38.5 million. In 2011 $48.1 million. In 2012 he earned $8.16 million. In 2013 he earned $2.24 million.
Total it all up and in the decade between 2004 and 2014, Mike received around $400 million in salary and bonus compensation.
Private Jet and Other Controversies
One of the more infamous and interesting anecdotes related to Mike Jeffries came to light thanks to a lawsuit filed by a private jet pilot in 2012. In his lawsuit, the former pilot claimed he was fired for being too old. While that might be controversial on its own, some details about life aboard the Abercrombie jet would soon overshadow the entire court case.
According to filings made by the pilot in this lawsuit, the Abercrombie jet had a strict set of rules, some of which were fairly bizarre. Furthermore, the flight attendants were actually supplied by a male modeling firm. And below is a list of some of the Abercrombie jet rules that had to be strictly followed by these male model flight attendants:
- Flight attendants had to wear Abercrombie jeans, flip-flops, boxer briefs, and polo shirts.
- Flight attendants had to respond to all passenger requests with the phrase "No problem", as opposed to "Sure" or "Just a minute".
- Attendants had to frequently "spritz" themselves and the plane with Abercrombie cologne.
- Coats could only be worn on the plane when the temperature was 50 degrees or lower and all polo shirt collars must be flipped.
- When serving meals attendants had to wear black gloves for silverware and white gloves for plates of food.
- The Phil Collins song "Take Me Home" had to be played on the plane's sound system whenever taking off for return trips.
- Attendants had yo constantly ensure that there were no fingerprints anywhere.
- All coats needed to be zipped to the fourth button from the bottom. The lowest button had to be left undone.
- All hats had to have a two inch thick brim which should sit in the middle of the forehead.
- "Houseboys" and flight attendants who broke the rules reportedly were punished with shirtless push ups.
It was also alleged that Mike's house staff was provided by the same male modeling firm and was forced to follow a similar set of rules.
The pilot lawsuit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
In 1971 Mike married Susan Marie Isabel Hansen. They had one child together.
In September 2013 he reportedly married a woman named Annabel Vartanian, though this is unconfirmed. Around the same time as this purported marriage, Mike was reportedly living with a male partner named Matthew Smith. Today Mike and Matthew run the Jeffries Family Office together.