Men's Wearhouse has fired George Zimmer, its bearded executive chairman famous for his TV ad line: "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."
The announcement by the men's clothing retailer that it had severed ties with Zimmer, who founded the company 40 years ago, sent its shares down as much as 6 percent in early trade on Wednesday.
The company, which gave no reason for the termination, also postponed its annual shareholder meeting scheduled for later Wednesday to renominate the existing slate of directors without Zimmer.
Zimmer later told CNBC he had been silenced, after expressing concerns about the company's strategy.
"Over the last 40 years, I have built MW into a multi-billion dollar company with amazing employees and loyal customers who value the products and service they receive.
"Over the past several months I have expressed my concerns to the board about the direction the company is currently heading. Instead of fostering the kind of dialogue in the boardroom that has in part contributed to our success, the board has inappropriately chosen to silence my concerns through termination as an executive officer."
Stifel analysts meanwhile speculated on his departure. "We believe that despite Zimmer's planned transition to a smaller role at the company, he had difficulty letting go of the reins and the leadership of the business.