American Eagle Outfitters on Monday announced the promotion of Mike Mathias to chief financial officer, replacing Bob Madore, effective immediately.
Mathias most recently was the apparel retailer's chief of financial planning and analysis, and has more than 20 years of experience in retail, "spanning finance, merchandise planning, strategy, business development and operations," per a company press release. His first job at American Eagle, in 1998, was managing the finances of stores and operations.
On Wednesday, the company also announced its intention to offer $400 million in convertible senior notes, due in 2025, according to another press release.
Mathias may have more than two decades managing American Eagle's finances to some extent or another — in a statement, CEO Jay Schottenstein, now Mathias's direct boss, said Mathias has been groomed for the top finance position for the past several years — but he is taking the job at a time of immense uncertainty.
With all of its North American stores temporarily shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic and apparel sales in freefall — the sector took a 52% hit last month even before most brick-and-mortar locations closed down — the retailer has scrambled to cut costs and boost cash, including Wednesday's bond announcement. The company is probably better positioned than most because it sells casual attire at a time when that's pretty much all anyone is wearing all day long. The company also already gets nearly a third of its sales online, according to Telsey Advisory Group.
Another advantage: Even before Wednesday's bond announcement, American Eagle was listed in a report from B. Riley FBR analysts as one of the retailers with the best liquidity cushions, along with Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters, among others.