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Warnaco Hires Gap Senior VP Hillman To Lead Calvin Klein Merchandising

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Warnaco Group Inc. (WRC) hired former Gap Inc. (GPS) Senior Vice President Karyn Hillman to lead the merchandising of its Calvin Klein business as the apparel company looks to expand into new markets. The company named Hillman to the newly created chief merchandising officer position for Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein Jeans Accessories to oversee all design, product development, merchandising and marketing. She joined Gap in 1991 and was most recently senior vice president, overseeing merchandising for Gap Women's, Men's, Accessories and GapBody. Warnaco also promoted Mark Whyman to the new chief commercial officer for Calvin Klein post to handle the wholesale and direct-to-consumer businesses globally. He has been with Warnaco for three years and most recently served as managing director of Warnaco Asia Pacific region. The appointments follow this month's decision by PVH Corp.'s (PVH) Calvin Klein Inc. unit to exercise its rights to reacquire the existing license agreements from Warnaco to distribute and sell ck Calvin Klein apparel and accessories in Europe, effective 2013. Warnaco on Thursday said it is segmenting the business into creative and commercial segments to maximize its Calvin Klein business, increase market share, grow direct-to-consumer and to expand into new markets over the next five years. "The organizational changes and key appointments we are announcing are an important step in further strengthening and positioning Warnaco to accelerate growth of our Calvin Klein businesses and maximize their potential across the globe, particularly as our direct-to-consumer channels become a larger part of our business," said President and Chief Executive Helen McCluskey. Last month, Warnaco reported it swung to a fourth-quarter loss on higher restructuring and pension charges as the apparel company's 3.9% sales growth was driven mostly by the Calvin Klein brand. Shares closed Wednesday at $57.71 and were inactive premarket. The stock has gained 15% so far this year. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283;

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