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Two Key Sourcing Execs Exit Liz

Two veteran sourcing executives are leaving Liz Claiborne Inc.

WASHINGTON — Two veteran sourcing executives are leaving Liz Claiborne Inc.

Gary Ross, corporate vice president of global manufacturing and sourcing, will depart at the end of November and Frank Kelly, vice president of international trade compliance, will exit at the end of October.

It could not be learned who would take over Ross' responsibilities. Kelly's duties will be reassigned, the company said.

Ross and Kelly also helped represent Claiborne in Washington. For example, they voiced opposition to a controversial Bush administration program to monitor imports from Vietnam for unfairly low prices.

"Gary has been a tremendous asset to our company, helping to transition the manufacturing organization over the last several years," Michael Scarpa, Claiborne's chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Kelly, who has been with Claiborne almost 25 years, "has been a valuable employee," Nick Rubino, corporate secretary and general counsel, said in a statement. "He has made innumerable contributions to our company in his time here and his work is greatly respected and appreciated."

Kelly declined to comment on his departure or on his plans. Ross could not be reached for comment.

Claiborne is in a period of sweeping change under chief executive officer William McComb, who took over last November. In July, McComb put 16 of the firm's brands under strategic review, and focused more of the company's energies on key growth brands, including Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Lucky Brand Jeans and Mexx.

Some of the brands under review have since been discontinued or folded into other businesses. An agreement was struck this month to sell Emma James, Intuitions, JH Collectibles and Tapemeasure to Li & Fung USA. Claiborne is also reconfiguring its sourcing organization.

On a July 31 conference call with Wall Street analysts, Scarpa said, "We're really just aligning the supply chain by brand, which will help us eliminate costs and streamline processes, and ultimately help reduce cycle time and that's what we're focused on from a sourcing perspective."

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