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PVH to Pay Former CEO Weber $8M

Former Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. chief executive officer Mark Weber is floating down with a golden parachute worth at least $8 million.

NEW YORK — Former Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. chief executive officer Mark Weber is floating down with a golden parachute worth at least $8 million.

Weber, who left the company last week, was succeeded by Emanuel Chirico, who formerly served as president and chief operating officer.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last Friday, PVH said Weber is “entitled to severance in an amount equal to three times his average cash compensation (i.e. base salary and bonus) for the two most recently completed fiscal years…. It is estimated that Mr. Weber will receive approximately $8 million under this provision.”

Weber is also entitled to as much as $25,000 for any legal fees he may incur relating to his termination from the company, as well as medical and dental benefits for him and his family.

The SEC filing stated that PVH’s agreement with Weber “provides for mutual releases between Mr. Weber and the company with respect to matters arising out of his employment with the company and the termination thereof.”

Included in the SEC filing was a letter by Mark D. Fischer, vice president, general counsel and secretary of PVH, stating that Weber’s “employment will be treated as having been terminated without ‘cause.’”

Weber’s departure from PVH was a shocker because he was chairman Bruce Klatsky’s right-hand man for more than 30 years at the company. Weber was seen as the natural choice to succeed Klatsky, who announced the succession plan early last year.

But sources said the PVH board and Apax Partners, which controls 38 percent of PVH’s stock, increasingly grew weary of Weber’s management style.

Industry sources said there had been growing friction between Weber and the board since the beginning of the year after PVH and Apax, which helped PVH buy Calvin Klein Inc. a few years ago, considered a joint deal to buy Tommy Hilfiger Corp. Discussions soured, and Apax ended up acquiring Hilfiger on its own.

This story first appeared in the March 6, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.