By  on May 16, 2008

Denise Seegal, president of VF Corp.'s sportswear coalition, is leaving the company less than a month after VF said Nautica women's sportswear will be closed.

VF said it would name Seegal's successor in the near future. Sources speculated that the Greensboro, N.C.-based firm could promote Karen Murray, who was hired in September as president of Nautica men's sportswear and Nautica Jeans Co. Murray and Seegal worked together at Liz Claiborne Inc., where Murray most recently was group president of men's wear, midtier, international alliances and licensing.

Seegal, who joined VF as the head of the Nautica brand in 2004, could not be reached for comment.

For the last year, the Nautica brand has been the one consistent drag on VF's earnings, accounting for an earnings per share loss of about 5 cents annually, according to the company. The underperforming women's line, which VF acquired in 2003, was relaunched for fall 2006.

"We remain confident that the Nautica brand has tremendous potential, and we are committed to continuing to build the business and position it for even greater success," said Eric C. Wiseman, VF president and chief executive officer. "We are fortunate to have in place a very strong and talented foundation of leaders and associates within the Nautica business."

Before VF, Seegal was president and ceo of the JLO by Jennifer Lopez licensee, Sweetface Fashion Co., for two years. She had come off of a two-year consulting stint after resigning in 2000 as president of Liz Claiborne after four years.

Seegal also headed Calvin Klein's CK operation in 1995. Calvin Klein hired her from Donna Karan, where she was the founding president of DKNY. From 1983 to 1988, Seegal was executive vice president of women's wear at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. She started her career at Bloomingdale's, where she rose to group merchandise manager in charge of designer sportswear.

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