Women's clothing giant Liz Claiborne Inc on Friday announced the promotion of two key executives as it emerged it almost doubled the huge bonus for its chief executive last year after it hit its earnings targets.

The New York-based company said it had promoted Patricia Royak to president, Liz Claiborne Europe, and Patricia Williamson to president, International Alliances, effective immediately. Both will report directly to Jorge Figueredo, president, Liz Claiborne International.

Ms Royak, currently president, International Alliances, will lead the effort to grow the Liz Claiborne brand, identify growth opportunities for other brands in Europe and work closely with Mexx management on synergy and integration matters. She will be based in Holland.

Ms Williamson will be responsible for sales, marketing, merchandising and business development activities for Liz Claiborne in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. She is currently vice president and general manager, Liz Claiborne Casual Petites.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Figueredo said: "These appointments reflect Liz Claiborne Inc.'s increasing international presence and will enhance the opportunity to achieve our growth plans in Europe and around the world.

"Both Pat and Trish have made significant contributions in their respective areas of responsibility and I am confident that this will continue in their new roles."

Separately on Friday, the clothing maker revealed in a corporate filing its chairman and CEO, Paul Charron, received a $1.9 million bonus in 2002, up from $957,600 a year earlier, as a reward for achieving profit goals.

It added it wants to boost the maximum bonus for any executive in a fiscal year to $5m from $2m in a bid to strengthen its "pay for performance" ethic and to attract and retain high-performing executives.