Arthur Martinez is retiring, signalling that a long quest to set the clothing chain on a new course is wrapping up.
Martinez will step down on February 3 when the fiscal year ends, the company said on Monday.
The 78-year-old has been chairman since 2014, the year when long-time chief executive Mike Jeffries departed and the once-hip clothing brand set out to regain its cachet with shoppers.
Therefore, the company also boosted its fourth-quarter forecast on Monday, sending the shares up as much as 6.3 percent in early trading.
Abercrombie struggled for years with tumbling sales and a leadership void.
And, obviously, it had no permanent chief executive until its chief merchandising officer, Fran Horowitz, stepped into the role last year.
Since then, the company’s Hollister chain has helped fuel a turnaround at the New Albany, Ohio-based company.
Martinez, the former chief executive of Sears Roebuck & Co., will hand the chairman role to Terry Burman, who already serves as lead independent director.
Abercrombie now expects same-store sales to grow in the high single digits, up from a previous projection in the low single digits. The company will report its results on March 7.
The stock climbed as high as $21.18 in premarket hours. It was up 45 percent last year, rebounding from six straight years of declines.