Jay Schottenstein, chairman and chief executive officer of American Eagle Outfitters, Inc (Nasdaq: AEOS) announced the appointment of James O'Donnell as chief operating officer.

Mr O'Donnell joined the Pittsburgh-based retailer on December 4, 2000. He will also serve as a member of the company's board of directors.

Mr O'Donnell served in various senior executive positions with The Gap, Inc from 1980-1992, including executive vice president and chief operating officer and as a member of the Gap's board of directors. He most recently was co-founder and chief executive officer of Lyte, Inc, a marketing and merchandising company serving the retail industry.

Prior to Lyte, Inc, Mr O'Donnell was an owner and chief executive officer of Computer Aided Systems, Inc, a provider of integrated distribution software and logistics systems. He is currently a member of the advisory board to the Villanova University College of Commerce and Finance, and a member of the board of directors of North America Media Engines, Inc in Toronto, Canada.

"We are delighted to have Jim on board. He brings tremendous specialty retail operating experience from his years at The Gap. Jim's strong operational skills, which were developed as The Gap expanded domestically and internationally, are particularly well-suited to American Eagle Outfitters as we embark on our next phase of growth," said Mr Schottenstein.

Mr O'Donnell will assume the responsibilities of Mr George Kolber, who joins Value City Department Stores (NYSE: VCD) as chief executive officer. Mr Kolber will continue to serve as vice chairman of American Eagle Outfitters' board of directors.

Mr Schottenstein added, "George Kolber has done a terrific job at American Eagle Outfitters over the past five years. I look forward to Mr Kolber's continuing contribution as vice chairman of American Eagle's board of directors."

About American Eagle Outfitters Inc
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc is a retailer of all-American casual apparel, accessories, and footwear for men and women between the ages of 16 and 34. The Company designs, markets, and sells its own brand of goods like American Eagle jeans, cargos, and t-shirts. The Company currently operates 556 stores in 47 states and the District of Columbia.