Guess Inc. late Monday said that co-founder and Chairman Maurice Marciano plans to retire from the company when his employment agreement expires on Jan. 28, 2012. He will continue to serve as non-executive chairman of board.

A native of southern France, Maurice Marciano, 62, along with his brothers George and Paul, moved to Los Angeles and in 1981 founded Guess, which became known for its designer jeans and provocative marketing. He has held a number of senior executive positions, including executive chairman since 1993 and chief executive from 1993 to 2007. Paul Marciano currently is chief executive. George Marciano, the company’s original chief executive, left the company in 1993.

"Since we began, our vision has been to build an iconic brand that would resonate with consumers all around the world,” he said in a statement. “Today, Guess has become a lifestyle brand present in 90 countries. As chairman of the board, I will continue to oversee the strategy of the company, as well as its expansion and well being."

As of April 30, Guess had 484 retail stores in the United States and Canada and operated 937 retail stores outside of North America, of which 202 are directly owned. In addition to casual apparel, the company designs, markets, distributes and licenses handbags, watches, footwear and other consumer products.

In addition to serving as non-executive chairman, Maurice Marciano entered into a two-year consulting agreement with the company under which he will continue as adviser after his retirement.

Shares earlier closed up 61 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $41.58 on the New York Stock Exchange.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.