By  on September 29, 2009

Doug Williams has been named chief executive officer of HMX LLC, the successor of Hartmarx Corp., where he has assumed the top job only three weeks after joining the firm. In early September, Williams was hired as the company’s president and chief operating officer. The changes are effective immediately.

“Our intent when we brought Doug on board was for him to assume this expanded role as soon as possible,” said Nitin Kasliwal, chairman of HMX Group and vice chairman of SKNL, an Indian textile and apparel company which, along with Emerisque Brands, purchased Hartmarx out of bankrupcy. “He has hit the ground running and is the right player to help us face the challenges of this turnaround in a difficult retail environment.”

Williams takes the reins from Ajay Khaitan, who has served as HMX’s head executive and vice chairman since Aug. 7, when Emerisque Brands, the private equity group Khaitan co-founded, and SKNL acquired most of the assets of Hartmarx Corp., including the Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx, Monarchy Collection and Misook brands.

“The positive response to Doug has been immediate and electric,” said Khaitan, who will remain vice chairman of the HMX Group and will be based in London. “I am delighted that we are able to initiate this transition so quickly and happy we’ve got an outstanding leader in place for the long term.”

The news is not a total surprise. Rumblings began last week that HMX would name a new ceo, possibly from within the company’s ranks. Williams, an industry veteran with 25 years experience in the retail, wholesale and licensing arenas — including a 17-year run at Polo Ralph Lauren, where he rose to group president — was seen as a likely choice.

“Over the course of the last several weeks I’ve met with most of our customers and all of our employees discussing the tremendous opportunity we have in front of us,” said Williams. “We will deliver on our promises to them. I have no doubt we will restore our iconic brands to their rightful status and grow our businesses to their true potential.”

HMX LLC is the new corporate umbrella for the brands formerly managed by Hartmarx Corp., which filed for bankruptcy court protection early this year.

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