PVH’s Klatsky Era Comes to a Close

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – Bruce Klatsky will close the books on 36 years at Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. at its annual meeting this June.

Klatsky, the former chief executive officer of PVH and most recently its non-executive chairman, will retire from the board at the firm’s upcoming annual meeting, to be held June 19. At that time, Emanuel Chirico, president and CEO of PVH, will be named chairman, subject to his reelection to the board.

Also retiring from the PVH board will be Joel Goldberg and Marc Grossman, both of whom have been directors since 1997.

Henry Nasella, an independent director, is expected to be named to chair meetings of non-management PVH directors, as Klatsky had recently done, and to continue as chairman of its compensation committee. Both presiding roles are contingent upon his reelection as a director.

Klatsky commented, “I joined PVH almost 36 years ago as a merchandise trainee and rose through the ranks to become its chairman, including the past two years as non-executive chairman. I have been very proud to lead such a dedicated group as our board, and cannot imagine a better person to succeed me than Manny Chirico.”

Although Klatsky is probably best known for PVH’s 2002 acquisition of Calvin Klein, his other contributions to PVH’s rise to prominence in the US apparel market are considerable. He is credited with taking the leading role in pushing Van Heusen past Arrow in its historic competition with Arrow, for years the market share leader in the US dress shirt business and now a brand owned by PVH, as well as the corporation’s trailblazing positions in overseas sourcing, retailing and licensing. Succeeding Larry Phillips as CEO, he was the first executive outside the Phillips and Van Heusen families to head the company, which dates back to 1881.

As for the Calvin Klein acquisition, one former director said, “He essentially willed it into being.”

According to PVH’s official history, Van Heusen became the leading US dress shirt brand in 1991.

Chirico joined PVH in 1993 as controller and became executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1999. He was promoted to president and chief operating officer in 2005 and CEO last year following the abrupt departure of Mark Weber after eight months in the job.

Chirico said of Klatsky, “I could not imagine a better role model to follow in assuming leadership of our board of directors and thank him on behalf of myself and the company for his advice, his long service and his impeccable leadership of our board of directors.”

Nasella, a partner of private equity fund LNK Partners, was with Apax Partners when it provided equity support to PVH in its 2002 purchase of Calvin Klein. He joined the board in 2003. He also serves as a director of Denny’s restaurants and is the former CEO of Star Markets and former president of Staples office supply stores.