By  on July 18, 2010

Kevin Morrissey, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s wear for Macy’s Inc., died Saturday morning, apparently of a heart attack, at his Westchester home. He was 58.

Morrissey, who had been with Macy’s and its predecessor company, Federated Department Stores Inc., since 1974, was remembered as a gifted men’s merchant and a hard-nosed but fair executive.

“In my many years working with Kevin, I observed his expertise in men’s wear and his skill as an executive,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s. “He was a strong team leader and made a significant contribution to building the Macy’s brand with the men’s customer. Kevin’s passing will be a great loss to our company, to the industry and to me personally. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin’s family at this difficult time.”

Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chief merchandising officer, called Morrissey “an outstanding merchant — a legend in the men’s wear industry. He keenly understood the customer and was exceptional at sizing and maximizing business opportunities. In doing so, Kevin built a reputation for being an effective partner with our vendors. Moreover, Kevin built and led a very strong men’s wear merchant team at Macy’s. He was a friend and mentor who was beloved in our organization and will be greatly missed.”

Karen Murray, president of the VF Sportswear Coalition, said Morrissey was highly respected.

“Whether he supported your line or not, he was entrenched like no other executive,” she said. “He came to work with passion and drive every single day. He loved his job and there was no other merchant like him in men’s.”

Men’s veteran Paul Rosengard, currently a consultant with Li & Fung, said Morrissey was a strong leader and a force to be reckoned with. “He was…a great key-item merchant who always delivered results. And he was a devoted family man who displayed Herculean efforts to be there in support of both his children’s academic and athletic activities. He will be deeply missed by all.”

After graduating from Syracuse University, Morrissey joined the executive training program at Abraham & Straus in June 1974 in housewares and home decor and became the store’s assistant manager of men’s sportswear two months later. He then spent virtually his entire 36-year career with the company in men’s. He became gmm of Macy’s East in 1994 and was named to his most recent post last year.

He is survived by his wife, Susan; a son, Patrick, and a daughter, Catherine, as well as his mother, two brothers and a sister. No information on services was available at press time.

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