If the designation were “CEO of the Year,” Emanuel Chirico of PVH Inc. could well have garnered top honors for the big moves he orchestrated and the way the brands in his company’s portfolio have flourished. Chirico is the winner of the People’s Choice for Newsmaker of the Year, garnering the most votes from WWD.com readers among a list culled by WWD editors of 20 nominees. Here, the top 10 vote-getters as selected by visitors to the Web site.
1. Emanuel Chirico, chairman and chief executive officer, PVH Corp.
Hurricane Sandy had brought virtually all other activity in New York to a standstill, but it couldn’t stop Emanuel Chirico from closing his third megadeal as either chief financial officer or, since 2006, chief executive officer of PVH Corp. In a long anticipated transaction, the ceo reached an agreement to acquire Warnaco Group Inc. for $2.9 billion on Oct. 30. Having skillfully worked down debt and enhanced operating performance after the 2002 acquisition of Calvin Klein Inc. for $430 million and the 2010 purchase of Tommy Hilfiger for $3 billion, Chirico, this year’s People’s Choice winner as selected by visitors to WWD.com for Newsmaker of the Year, managed not only to bring Warnaco’s jeans and underwear businesses under direct PVH control, but pick up the rights to Speedo and expand corporate assets in underpenetrated markets such as Asia and Latin America, as well. Originally considered a “numbers guy,” he’s proven to also be a savvy marketer who’s bringing the company’s heritage brands — including Izod, Van Heusen and Arrow — back to profitability with fresh merchandise and attention-getting advertising and promotion. Set to cross the $8 billion mark with the integration of Warnaco, few question the seriousness of Chirico’s intention to overtake the nearly $11 billion VF Corp. as the largest U.S.-based apparel company through organic growth and, naturally, acquisition.