Bruce J. Klatsky served as CEO and Chairman and of the Board Directors of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH), from 1993 until June 2007. During his 13 years as CEO, he led the transformation of a 120 year-old shirt company into one of the largest apparel and footwear companies in the world.
Mr. Klatsky joined PVH in 1971 as a merchandising trainee after graduating cum laude from Case Western Reserve University and studying law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He worked in various capacities at PVH, and after 16 years was named President of the company in 1987. In 1993 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer.
As CEO of PVH, Mr. Klatsky oversaw the operations and strategic development of a multi-division NYSE-traded public company with approximately 20,000 employees, annual sales in excess of $2 billion, and brand revenues of approximately $6 billion. At PVH, Mr. Klatsky’s oversight grew the company’s market capitalization from approximately $300 million to more than $3.5 billion. In 2002, he led the successful acquisition and integration of Calvin Klein, adding the brand to a roster of companies that included Van Heusen, G.H. Bass & Co., Gant, Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole, Arrow, BCBG Max Azria, Chaps, Sean Jean, Michael Kors, and Donald Trump.
One of Mr. Klatsky’s responsibilities at PVH was the transformation of the company from a domestic manufacturer of footwear and apparel to a global producer. He accomplished this by opening factories and developing a variety of sourcing relationships around the globe. This was achieved simultaneously with his advocacy for worker rights and protections, as well as advising various government agencies on trade matters.
Mr. Klatsky served as Vice Chair, Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch. As a recognized leader in the apparel and footwear industries, he worked with three Presidential administrations. He served on President Clinton’s White House Apparel Task Force to help advance reforms intended to improve working conditions around the world. He also served as an advisor on U.S. trade policy to both the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations.
In late 2005 and 2006, utilizing a platform provided by the Aspen Institute, he developed a proposal for USAID to assist in the creation of an export processing zone in the Gaza strip. This in an effort to promote regional stability by providing increased employment opportunities and an economic engine for growth, thereby replicating the model that has assisted in the evolution of many developing nations.
Mr. Klatsky co-founded a private equity company in March 2006, LNK Partners, to identify and support strong management teams in building outstanding consumer and retail businesses.