By  on December 28, 2005

NEW YORK - Dov Lautman, founder and chairman of Delta Galil Industries, Israel, will succeed Arnon Tiberg as chief executive officer on Jan. 31.

Delta's board elected Lautman ceo for 12 months. He will continue as chairman for 15 months. Since Israeli law requires shareholder approval for someone to serve simultaneously as chairman and ceo, a special shareholder meeting will be called to confirm his appointment.

Tiberg, who has been ceo for the past decade, helped transform the Tel Aviv-based manufacturer of private label intimate apparel, underwear and leisurewear into a global apparel resource. Tiberg is credited with the company's entry into the U.S. mass market, transferring production to countries with lower labor costs, diversifying the company's customer base and overseeing several acquisitions, including the purchase of intimates firm Berlen in 2004 and Auburn Hosiery Mills from Kellwood Co. in 2003.

"A few months ago, Arnon Tiberg asked me to look into the possibility of his resignation as ceo. I asked him to remain in his position," Lautman said in a statement. "We have now agreed that he would finish his term as ceo Jan. 31, 2006. Due to my great appreciation for his talents, I intend to ask the board of directors to nominate Mr. Tiberg as a director in the near future, so that Delta can benefit from his vast knowledge and experience."

Regarding the future, Lautman noted, "In this period, when Delta is in the midst of reorganization, it is important that the person leading the company be a person who understands the company well. Therefore, I agreed to take upon myself the appointment as ceo for 12 months. I am sure that together with Delta's high-quality management, we will succeed in completing the reorganization."

Zack H. Salino, vice president of marketing for Delta Galil USA Inc., said in an interview, "Dov has always been an active executive at the company, and has always been the heart and soul of the company of Delta Galil. He's been extremely involved in the U.S. business, coming to the U.S. three or four times a year, minimum. He's very active with Delta's businesses in Europe and the U.K., especially the Marks & Spencer stores. And everyone in management at Delta around the world is congratulating Arnon for taking Delta to the next level."Delta Galil, which manufactures for Calvin Klein Underwear, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria's Secret and Nike, generated sales of $654 million in 2004, and overall sales are estimated to be $750 million in 2005, according to Miki Laxer, controller of Delta Galil.

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