By  on November 14, 2007

Mackey McDonald has led VF Corp.'s transition from category manufacturer to a major lifestyle-brand entity.

Transforming VF Corp. from a category apparel manufacturer into a lifestyle-brand juggernaut has been more about effective execution than the implementation of revolutionary ideas, according to Mackey McDonald.

As chairman and chief executive officer of the Greensboro, N.C.-based company for the last 12 years, McDonald has overseen the wholesale transformation of VF's DNA. What once was a company known for being a dominant but conservative maker of such stalwart brands as Lee, Wrangler and Vanity Fair has shed its stodgy image in favor of acquiring and developing flashier names like The North Face, Vans, Reef and Seven For All Mankind.


A look at VF Corp.'s acquisitions since 2000 shows how the company has moved well beyond its denim and intimate apparel roots. Despite the change in growth strategy, heritage brands such as Lee and Wrangler have continued to find ways to grow.

On the Acquisition Trail
2007
Seven For All Mankind
Eagle Creek
Majestic Athletic
Lucy Activewear

2005
Reef
Holoubek (licensee of Harley- Davidson apparel)

2004
Kipling
Napapijri
Vans

2003
Nautica
John Varvatos
Earl Jean
E. Magrath

2000
Chic
Eastpak
Gitano
H.I.S.
The North Face

Spurring this change was the need for McDonald and his management team to confront two issues. The first was satisfying Wall Street's demands for constant and substantive growth. The second, and perhaps more crucial to the company's survival, was the recognition of a shift in how consumers were approaching the apparel retail environment.

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