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Haggar Clothing Co. Taps Michael Stitt as CEO

He succeeds Paul Buxbaum, who is exiting after three years at the helm to focus on his business interests as chairman and ceo of Buxbaum Group.

Michael Stitt was named chief executive officer of Haggar Clothing Co. on Monday and joined its board.

This story first appeared in the April 17, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

He succeeds Paul Buxbaum, who is exiting after three years at the helm to focus on his business interests as chairman and ceo of Buxbaum Group. Buxbaum will remain a strategic adviser to the Dallas-based pants maker.

Stitt joined Haggar in 1999 as director of global licensing and was named president of Haggar Canada Co. in 2006.

In a related announcement, Tim Lyons, previously president of Haggar’s U.S. wholesale operations, has been promoted to president of Haggar.

“This is a very exciting period for our company. We continue to see market share gains and sales growth as a result of a variety of new product lines conceived by this management team,” said Stitt.

Haggar owns the biggest share of the dress pant market in the U.S. and the number-two share of casual pants, according to its figures. The company, which was founded in 1926, was publicly held until 2005, when Perseus LLC, a merchant bank and private equity fund management company, along with Infinity Associates LLC and Symphony Holdings Ltd., bought the brand for about $212 million.

Before going private, Haggar reported annual revenues of just less than $500 million but that top-line figure shrank by at least a third after it sold off its women’s business, terminated its sportswear license and closed a private label division. Since 2009, the company said it has posted “steady revenue growth and strong profitability.”

“Under Paul’s capable leadership, Haggar has gained substantial share and continued its long record of innovation in the marketplace, most recently with the successful launch of a new brand, Life Khaki,” said Brian Leitch, co-chairman of Haggar’s board.

Buxbaum’s Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Buxbaum Group specializes in liquidation, restructuring and turnaround activities in the apparel sector.