NEW YORK — What does it take to be a successful leader in today’s change-in-a-blink world? That is the focus of the 16th WWD Apparel & Retail CEO Summit at The Plaza hotel here, and the range of speakers had some common answers: a micro-focus on detail, passion about product, not being afraid to break the rules — and a loathing of bureaucracy. Ron Johnson J.C. Penney’s chairman and ceo has a New Year’s resolution: Penney’s in 2013 will become “a happening place.” Millard 'Mickey' Drexler As ceo of J. Crew Group and, before that, Gap Inc., Drexler's much-dissected and heralded career has been guided by a deceptively simple retail philosophy. Kirsten Gillibrand New York's junior Democratic senator has some lofty goals, among them to fill the U.S. Senate with a majority of women. Andrew Rosen Having grown up on Seventh Avenue, the third-generation industry leader has seen the industry from many vantage points. Gary Hamel A professor from the London Business School and director at the Management Innovation Exchange, Hamel looks at how business structures are evolving. Huang Hung The ceo of China Interactive Media Group makes the case that the Chinese middle class is not so different from its American counterpart after all. Nathalie Remy The McKinsey & Co. principal offered insights on “Navigating the Fashion World, City by City, to Unleash Growth.”

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