Bruce Klatsky, the former chief executive officer of Phillips-Van Heusen Corp and most recently its non-executive chairman, will retire from the board at the firm's upcoming annual meeting, to be held 19 June. At that time, Emanuel Chirico, president and CEO of Phillips-Van Heusen, will be named chairman, subject to his re-election to the board.

Also retiring from the Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) board will be Joel Goldberg and Marc Grossman, both of whom have been directors since 1997.

Henry Nasella, an independent director, is expected to be named to chair meetings of non-management PVH directors, as Klatsky had recently done, and to continue as chairman of its compensation committee. Both presiding roles are contingent upon his re-election as a director.

Klatsky commented: "I joined PVH almost 36 years ago as a merchandise trainee and rose through the ranks to become its chairman, including the past two years as non-executive chairman. I have been very proud to lead such a dedicated group as our board, and cannot imagine a better person to succeed me than Manny Chirico."

Best known for masterminding PVH's 2002 acquisition of Calvin Klein, Klatsky also played leading roles in Van Heusen's rise to prominence over Arrow as the top US dress shirt brand and is given much of the credit for PVH's leadership positions in global sourcing, retailing and licensing.

Succeeding Larry Phillips as CEO, he was the first executive outside the Phillips and Van Heusen families to head the company, which dates back to 1881.

Chirico joined PVH in 1993 as controller and became executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1999. He was promoted to president and chief operating officer in 2005 and CEO last year following the abrupt departure of Mark Weber after eight months in the job.

Chirico said of Klatsky: "I could not imagine a better role model to follow in assuming leadership of our board of directors and thank him on behalf of myself and the company for his advice, his long service and his impeccable leadership of our board of directors."

Nasella, a partner of private equity fund LNK Partners, was with Apax Partners when it provided equity support to PVH in its 2002 purchase of Calvin Klein. He joined the board in 2003. He also serves as a director of Denny's restaurants and is the former CEO of Star Markets and former president of Staples office supply stores.
 
By Arnold J Karr.