Did I read this press release right? Did the CFO at Chico's FAS (NYSE:CHS) resign for something other than the usual (lame) excuse of "personal reasons" or "to pursue interests outside the company"?

Did the 18-year veteran (who earned a seven-figure bonus in 2006, but one still modest by the standards that some companies are setting for executive pay) actually say "they need someone better at my job"?

Well, the whole remark, as officially attributed to Charles J. Klemen in the press release, was "This Company has ambitions that, frankly, could benefit from executive skills that I'm not necessarily in a position to bring to the table. On the other hand, I'm certainly not ready to retire."

Retail is no easy business. Getting the fashions right is tough enough, as the folks at Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), Coldwater Creek (NASDAQ:CWTR), Bebe (NASDAQ:BEBE), or Gap (NYSE:GPS) -- which finally gave CEO Paul Pressler the boot after years of crummy sales -- can attest.

But getting the financials running smoothly is, I believe, an even mightier job, and Chico's has excelled under Klemen, putting up some of the best margins, cash flow, and capital turnover in the industry.

I don't know whether to be spooked by Klemen's parting comments or impressed with the candor. Is the upcoming work really that hard, or are the folks at Chico's just far too earnest for those of us jaded by years of mealy mouthed corporate excuses?

For the time being, I continue to eyeball the stock as one of the coming year's most lucrative quick-ish turnarounds. I'm just wondering if it's safe to get in the water yet.

Comments? Bring them here.

At the time of publication, Seth Jayson had no positions in any company mentioned here. See his latest blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. bebe is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Gap is an Inside Value and a Stock Advisor pick. Fool rules are here.