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Hartmarx Names Prockzo Chief Operating Officer

Tara Proczko has been named vice president and chief operating officer of Hartmarx, and Homi Patel will remain a director.

Taras Proczko, general counsel and secretary of Hartmarx Corp., has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Chicago-based clothing firm.

Hartmarx disclosed the appointment in a regulatory filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Proczko’s annual base salary will remain just below $216,000.

Homi Patel retired last week as the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, but will remain a director. Proczko, who joined Hartmarx in 1980, became vice president, corporate counsel and secretary in 2000 and senior vice president, general counsel and secretary the following year. He will continue as general counsel and secretary.

No successor to Patel has been named, but the role of ceo is expected to be filled by Ajay Khaitan, principal of Emerisque Brands, which is acquiring Hartmarx out of bankruptcy. Hartmarx filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. The $128.4 million sale of the company to Emerisque and its investment partner, SKNL, was approved by a Chicago bankruptcy court on June 25.

The court action came after a five-month process that began with a bankruptcy filing just days after President Obama was outfitted by the firm for his inauguration. Hartmarx seemed to be heading toward liquidation when Wells Fargo Capital Finance appeared unwilling to fund operations. After pressure from members of Congress and union officials, Wells Fargo, a recipient of government funds, allowed the bankruptcy process to move forward. However, Emerisque has yet to close the purchase, which was reported to be at risk because professionals involved in the bankruptcy sought a purchaser guarantee for their fees.