By  on April 28, 2010

Cherokee Inc. said Tuesday it is launching a search to replace chairman and chief executive officer Robert Margolis, who will become executive chairman on Feb. 1.

The Van Nuys, Calif.-based licensing and brand management company, which owns labels such as Cherokee, Sideout and Carole Little, said company president Howard Siegel will add the title of chief operating officer.

Cherokee also announced other executive promotions: Zoe Ann Murphy, president of North and South America; Mark Nawrocki, president of Europe and the Middle East, and Larry Sass, president of Asia, South Africa and India.

The regional presidents will help Cherokee tap into emerging markets, where it recently signed new licensing agreements. For example, the firm said Monday Arvind Retail Ltd. will oversee the expansion of the Cherokee brand from India to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

By taking on the new position as executive chairman, Margolis’ annual bonus compensation will be reduced by as much as 60 percent, the company said.

Cherokee’s fourth-quarter profits rose 30.6 percent as better sales boosted the bottom line despite declining business from Target Corp. for the firm’s namesake brand.

In its fiscal year ending Jan. 30, Cherokee reported net income fell 12 percent to $12.6 million from $14.3 million a year ago, as revenue declined 10 percent to $32.6 million from $36.2 million.

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