By  on May 17, 2005

NEW YORK — A reorganization of VF Corp.'s management put into place a new head of global brands, created a global supply organization and led to the departure of 34-year veteran Terry Lay.

The branded apparel giant on Monday promoted Eric Wiseman to executive vice president of global brands, effective June 1. Wiseman, 49, will be responsible for the growth of the company's core brands, which include Lee, Wrangler, The North Face, JanSport and Nautica. Six presidents of VF's jeanswear, intimates, outdoor and sportswear coalitions will report to him.

Wiseman joined VF in 1995, and has been vice president and chairman of the company's outdoor and sportswear coalitions since February 2004.

Generating synergies between brands has been a focus of management for some time. Mackey J. McDonald, chairman and chief executive officer, said the new management structure will help efforts across the company's business segments.

"This allows [our brands] to work more closely together and, at the same time, remain very focused on their specific brands," McDonald said.

On the supply-chain side, the company has tapped George Derhofer, 51, to head a new global supply organization aimed at consolidating that function. Derhofer will assume responsibility for all manufacturing, sourcing, operations and information technology, and will continue to oversee the company's imagewear coalition.

"[Supply chain] has been a competitive weapon for VF for many years," said McDonald. "We want to maintain the advantage we feel we have in that area."

Several other executives were promoted or given new responsibilities, as well.

McDonald said the company has been preparing for the change for the last two years by bringing in outside talent and grooming internal candidates.

"It is a significant change in our organization, but very much in line with our growth plan that we initiated at the beginning of last year and will be continuing for the next three-and-a-half years," McDonald said.

That evolution will not include Lay, chairman of the jeanswear coalition since February 2004. Lay has announced his retirement and, McDonald said, will phase out of the company by the end of June.Lay, who was 57 years old at the time the company filed its most recent proxy statement in March, joined VF in 1971. He served as president of the Lee division from 1996 to 1999 and chairman of the international jeanswear coalition from 2000 to 2004.

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