Liz Claiborne Will Retire as Chief of Firm

From Associated Press

Liz Claiborne, founder of the major clothing design house that bears her name, announced Sunday that she will retire from her posts as the company's chairwoman, chief executive and president in June.

Liz Claiborne Inc. also announced that Claiborne's husband, Arthur Ortenberg, who co-founded the company, would retire from his position as the vice chairman of the board of directors.

Both will remain as board members, the company said.

"After years of working long, long days, and then meeting the new challenges of helping to grow and manage a billion-dollar enterprise, we are looking forward to making time to devote to personal interests and to enjoying the fruits of our labors," the couple said in a joint statement.

Claiborne, 59, is one of the few women chief executives of a major U.S. company.

Liz Claiborne is known for its updated classic women's clothing. In recent years the company--one of the nation's largest manufacturers of women's attire--has branched out into men's clothing, perfume and a chain of retail clothing stores.

The company said Vice Chairman Jerome A. Chazen will become chairman when Claiborne retires, and Executive Vice President Harvey L. Falk will become vice chairman and president.

No successor was named to the position of chief executive officer.

The announcement came as the company reported that profit for 1988 fell 3.6% to $110.3 million from a year ago. Sales for the year increased to $1.18 billion, up 12.4% from 1987.

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