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Dave McTague Leaves Liz Claiborne

Executive vice president of the Partnered Brands division at Liz Claiborne exited Friday.

Dave McTague, Executive vice president of partnered brands, Liz Claiborne.

Dave McTague, Executive vice president of partnered brands, Liz Claiborne.

Courtesy Photo

The changes keep coming for Liz Claiborne Inc.’s wholesale businesses.

This story first appeared in the December 7, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Dave McTague, executive vice president of the Partnered Brands division, left the company Friday.

McTague is the latest to depart in the wake of the October deal to license the flagship brand to J.C. Penney Co. Inc. That move, which also shifted the Isaac Mizrahi-designed Liz Claiborne New York line to QVC, cost 115 Claiborne employees their jobs, although 15 were offered positions at QVC.

“The operating strategy and landscape of the Partnered Brands portfolio has changed dramatically in the past two-and-a-half years,” said William L. McComb, chief executive officer. “In light of this, Dave’s departure and the new distribution strategy for the Liz Claiborne brand franchise, we are rethinking the management structure of the Partnered Brands business segment. I thank Dave for working so hard on behalf of Liz Claiborne Inc. during his tenure here and wish him well in the future.”

McTague came to Claiborne in August 2007 after serving as president of Converse Apparel and Accessories at Nike Inc. He previously held positions at Victorinox and Tommy Hilfiger.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday, McTague will receive a cash payment of $1.4 million, representing one times his base salary and target bonus, plus continued medical coverage for six months. The apparel firm also is obligated to reimburse him for any Cobra expenses incurred in the six months following the initial period.

At Claiborne, McTague oversaw a number of wholesale brands, including Liz Claiborne, Axcess, Dana Buchman, Kensie, Mac & Jac, Monet and the licensed DKNY businesses.

Presidents of each of the partnered brands will continue to run their businesses, but will now be part of an operating committee with McComb and Andrew Warren, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

McTague was unavailable for comment Friday.

It’s been a tough run for Claiborne’s wholesale business. For the nine months ended Oct. 3, the Partnered Brands division posted operating losses of $92.2 million on sales of $830.7 million. A year earlier, the division had operating losses of $92.9 million on sales of $1.25 billion.

Claiborne also operates Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Kate Spade as wholesale-retail hybrids and the Mexx business internationally.