By  on June 15, 2005

NEW YORK — At Phillips-Van Heusen's annual meeting on Tuesday, there was much laughter, some tears, the passing of a torch and even a standing ovation. Had the event not been held at the City University's Graduate Center at 365 Fifth Avenue, it would have been perfectly suited for Broadway.

Effective Tuesday, PVH's chairman and chief executive officer, Bruce Klatsky, 56, officially stepped down from his ceo post, and was succeeded by Mark Weber, 55, president and chief operating officer. Emanuel Chirico, executive vice president and chief financial officer, became president and chief operating officer and was also elected to the board.

At the annual meeting, Klatsky reminisced about his 34 years at PVH and thanked those dear to him professionally, while Weber set forth his vision for the company.

"We do not need to make acquisitions to meet our numbers or exceed them," Weber said. "We will make acquisitions where it makes sense. We will only buy brands that people know. We will only buy companies that we feel we can grow dramatically. We have a very bright future, provided to us by a great board, a great retiring ceo, great partners and management team. I am thrilled to be a part of it and very confident in our future."

After the meeting, Weber elaborated: "We want brand names the consumer knows ... We know how to develop the product, we know how to do the marketing, we know how to advertise, but what we don't want to do is take something that needs to be explained."

Klatsky, who was instrumental in PVH's purchase of Calvin Klein Inc., disclosed that David Landau of Apax Partners (which helped finance the purchase of CKI and owns 38 percent of PVH), decided to separate from Apax and will no longer be its representative on PVH's board. Peter Solomon is also stepping down from the board this year. The 11 directors for the coming year were approved at the meeting. Rita M. Rodriguez was a newly elected director.

Klatsky lauded his successor Weber, the sixth ceo in the company's history, with whom he worked in tandem for over three decades.

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