By and  on March 7, 2005

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.

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