NEW YORK — George Herscu, chairman of Hooker Corp., has agreed to step down as chief executive officer of the troubled retail and real estate company, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
Representatives of Hooker, whose holdings include Bonwit Teller, B. Altman & Co. and various shopping malls, did not return repeated phone calls.
The decision by Herscu, who will continue as chairman of the company in which he is the majority shareholder, was said to have been made at the urging of Hooker's lenders, which recently agreed to a moratorium on the repayment of principal.
Hooker, based in Sydney, Australia, owes 42 banks about $700 million on an unsecured basis.
Hooker, which has invested about $1 billion in the United States since 1986, has put its real estate holdings up for sale.