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Business transformations: The good, the bad and the ugly

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Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch is a casual wear company founded in 1892 as a sporting goods company. It experienced a rebirth in the 1990s and has been very successful ever since, due mostly to the guidance of CEO Michael Jeffries, who reimagined the brand to project an aura of youthful sexuality.

His vision helped the company achieve its greatest success, but it also brought heavy criticism, both for its suggestive advertisements, and for statements he has made about the customers he wanted the brand to attract.

"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," he said in a 2006 interview with Salon.com. "Candidly, we go after the cool kids. ... Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

David Pomponio | FilmMagic | Getty Images