NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne Inc. said Thursday that Harvey L. Falk, vice chairman and president, will retire from the firm Jan. 1.
Falk, 60, joined Liz Claiborne in 1982 as its chief financial officer and was promoted to executive vice president in 1985. Four years later, he was promoted to his current post, overseeing the firm’s manufacturing and operations, distribution and other administrative functions. The move puts more power into the hands of Paul R. Charron, who joined the firm in April as vice chairman and chief operating officer, coming from VF Corp.
A company spokeswoman said no successor will be named and that Falk’s responsibilities will be divided between Jerome A. Chazen, the firm’s chairman, and Charron. As noted, Claiborne’s core sportswear is being split into three distinct units, with the heads of each reporting directly to Charron.
Industry analysts were not surprised by the announcement. “After Charron’s appointment, there wasn’t any real room for Falk going forward,” said one Wall Street analyst, who wanted to remain anonymous. “He was a figurehead, and he just became more obsolete.”
Falk, who was unavailable for comment, will remain with the firm as a senior adviser. Effective with his resignation, he will step down from the board.
In a statement, Falk said his decision was a “deeply personal one,” adding that “it was the right moment to turn the page to a new chapter of my life.” “Harvey has been a key member of our senior management team over the last 12 years,” said Chazen in a statement. “He has been a good friend and a team player.”

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