NEW YORK — Bruce Klatsky is stepping down as chief executive officer of Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., leaving the company in the hands of his longtime number two, Mark Weber.
Weber, PVH’s president and chief operating officer, will take over as ceo on June 14, the day of the firm’s annual meeting. Klatsky will stay as chairman for one year. Emanuel Chirico, 47, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will become president and chief operating officer.
“I’ve been apprenticing for 33 years,” joked Weber, who has worked alongside Klatsky for all that time. He became president in 1998. “Bruce is a very multi-dimensional guy. He’s very interested in the world at large, in doing the right things for the world. Bruce at this point in life decided to pursue other interests. We planned to walk into the sunset together. It turned out that we had different time zones.”
Weber, 55, joined PVH six months after Klatsky, 56, and they worked their way up the company’s career ladder in tandem.
“The succession plan has been obvious for several years,” said Klatsky, who began his career as a trainee in the merchandising department 34 years ago and became ceo in 1993. “The catalyst was really that we are roughly two years ahead of our business plan. The Calvin Klein integration has been far better than we have ever anticipated. The company is in incredible shape so it’s a perfect time for me to pass on the torch.”
Klatsky was instrumental in the Calvin Klein Inc. deal. PVH acquired the brand in 2003 with the help of Apax Partners, which owns 38 percent of PVH. Klatsky had pursued CKI for two years before signing a deal worth $700 million. He also spearheaded the strategy for CKI that included launching new women’s and men’s better-priced sportswear lines. Klatsky considered these businesses as a $1 billion opportunity.
For the year ended Feb. 1, 2004, PVH posted a loss available to common shareholders of $5.3 million. Exclusive of transition costs related to the CKI deal and other items, PVH’s income increased 65.8 percent to $50.5 million. Sales for the year rose 12.6 percent to $1.58 billion.Klatsky said health wasn’t an issue in his decision.
“I am healthy, I worked out last night, bench-pressed 185 pounds,” he said, laughing. “No, I have been with PVH for 34 years and I have always said that my desire was to be able to exit while I was still young enough to give something back to the world and not be concerned economically.” He plans to focus much of his attention on Human Rights Watch, an independent, nongovernmental organization he has been involved with for a decade.
“Our businesses are at a fairly remarkable period,” Klatsky said. “We don’t have one weak sister in our company. Our dress shirt business is concluding its second record year in a row. Our sportswear is concluding its second year of record profitability and our Calvin Klein business is two years ahead of business plan, and I have two very very capable colleagues.
“Our cash flow is such that we are going to be looking aggressively for more acquisitions and that would require a major commitment from me for a number of years with the company,” Klatsky said.
Weber said Klatsky had talked about his departure from PVH for a “long time,” but stayed as part of his commitment to follow through with the firm’s acquisition of Calvin Klein Inc. While Klatsky took on the more high-profile role when Calvin Klein was acquired, Weber continued focusing on developing the company and its operations.
“[Klatsky] was the architect for the acquisition,” Tom Murry, CKI’s president and chief operating officer, said. “That was tremendously creative and would never have happened without his tenacity, that he was capable of making it happen. That said, I think that was his primary contribution. Most of the integration work between Calvin Klein and PVH really was headed by Mark Weber. We started working closely on the operations of the business about a year prior to the acquisition with Mark. I think Mark gets most of the credit for a remarkably, historically smooth integration of Calvin Klein into PVH.”
There is also an expectation that it will be business as usual even under a new ceo.“Mark has allowed me to run CK fairly autonomously,” Murry said. “He has been a good partner as well as a good boss, he is a good listener, he has a very keen instinct about how to prioritize his time and where his involvement is needed. I think the changes at CK will be very minimal if at all.”
David Landau of Apax Partners and the lead director at PVH said, “There’s no intention for any sort of change to the company’s strategy or direction. The company has been performing extremely well. The prospect for the company’s future is extremely bright....I fully expect that the company will continue on its present course with a very smooth transition.”
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews