The new CEO of one of the hottest retail companies is suddenly stepping down
Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider
Bonobos CEO Fran Della Badia has left the rapidly growing men's clothing brand after three months on the job. Cofounder and chairman Andy Dunn is returning as CEO.
The company says that Della Badia, formerly the president of Coach's North American retail division, ultimately was not the right fit for the company.
"We've been on a fast growth trajectory and I was eager and excited to bring someone in with Fran's experience and pedigree," Dunn said. "What she and I learned in just a few months is that at this stage, we still need the founder at the helm."
"These past months leading Bonobos have been a great experience for me," Della Badia said in a statement. "While I was brought in to effect change and to evolve operations, it quickly became clear that at this stage, the company and culture still require Andy's involvement on a day-to-day basis."
Dunn and other sources close to the company said that financially Bonobos is doing better than it ever has, meeting or exceeding expectations for this year. The transition, Dunn said, was entirely based on fit.
Cofounders Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club since leaving Bonobos in 2009, and Dunn launched Bonobos online in 2007 as a brand of exceptionally well-fitting chinos. The company began expanding beyond pants in 2010 and into brick-and-mortar stores the next year, also forming a partnership with Nordstrom in 2012.
Over the past eight years, it has raised nearly $128 million in capital, raising $55 million in its Series D round in July of last year. It has used the funding to launch more brick-and-mortar stores, and hopes to expand its current count of 19 to 30 by the end of next year.
Dunn and the board say it was Dunn's idea to have Della Badia join the company as chief executive. Dunn considers Della Badia a mentor and has known her for the past five years. She joined Bonobos on June 1.
Board member and investor Joel Peterson told Business Insider that Dunn felt that a seasoned executive would be best to take Bonobos into its next stage of development, but that Della Badia and Dunn came to the conclusion this summer that Della Badia is more suited to a mature company.
The board will now be developing a team of experienced advisers to assist Dunn as CEO in "turning the corner" into a more developed stage.
Dunn said that Della Badia will remain an adviser from beyond the company, and he and Peterson are optimistic about Bonobos' future.
"There is no doubt... that Bonobos is on a great path and I look forward to seeing what's to come," Della Badia said.
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