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• Levi's announced in July that Phil Marineau would complete his seven-year tenure as president and ceo at the end of the year. Marineau, a former president and ceo of Pepsico North America, was anything but an obvious choice for the job when he joined the jeans giant in 1999. Marineau's mission was to turn Levi's around, including improving operational efficiencies and shedding all manufacturing operations in favor of focusing on product development. Marineau's track record at the company was mixed. But Levi's did mark a milestone, breaking eight years of declining sales results. John Anderson, former head of the company's Asia-Pacific division, succeeded Marineau on Nov. 26.
• Michele Norsa, the well-respected ceo of Valentino SpA, stunned the industry in July by resigning and heading to Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA. Reportedly, tensions were growing between Norsa and Valentino Fashion Group chairman Antonio Favrin, and speculation has persisted that Valentino is for sale, despite denials from the company. Norsa is now the first non-family member to fill the ceo position at Ferragamo. With a mandate to prepare the company for a stock market listing, Norsa's plan is to expand the brand's presence into new markets, develop catchy ad campaigns and introduce more accountability into the corporate culture.
• The year also saw a wave of designers bringing in a president for the first time. In April, Narciso Rodriguez tapped Roberto Pesaro as president and ceo; Zac Posen hired Barry Miguel as president in October, and in November, Cynthia Rowley created the role of president for Peter Arnold.
• After being shown the door by the Phillips-Van Heusen board in February, Mark Weber landed on his feet at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in October, when he was named chief executive of LVMH (U.S.) Inc. and chairman and ceo of Donna Karan International. At DKI, he replaced Jeffry Aronsson. At PVH, Weber was replaced by PVH's president and chief operating officer, Emanuel Chirico.
• After more than a 16-month search, Liz Claiborne Inc. finally appointed a new ceo, William McComb, 43, an industry outsider with a 14-year tenure at Johnson & Johnson, most recently as group chairman. McComb took over as ceo and a member — not chairman — of Claiborne's board on Nov. 6. The board appointed its own longtime member Kay Koplovitz, 61, as nonexecutive chair, starting Jan. 1. Paul Charron will stay on as a consultant for another full year and become chairman emeritus.