Cheryl Abel-Hodges, who was served as group president for Calvin Klein North America and the Underwear Group at PVH, is now the new CEO, succeeding Steve Shiffman, who is leaving the company to pursue other interests.
In her new role, Abel-Hodges reports to PVH president Stefan Larsson, who was named to the new post late last month.
“I have great confidence that Cheryl is the right person to lead the Calvin Klein brand. Her strong management abilities, together with her consistent track record for operational excellence, will provide strong direction for the Calvin Klein team,” Emanuel Chirico, chairman and CEO of PVH Corp., said. “I believe this leadership change, coupled with our incredible management teams around the world, will allow us to capture the brand’s long-term growth potential.”
Last week, the Calvin Klein Inc. subsidiary and G-III Apparel Group entered into a five-year licensing agreement for the design, production and distribution of Calvin Klein Jeans women’s jeans wear collections in the U.S. and Canada. The decision to license Calvin Klein Jeans came after a series of moves to overhaul the business.
In January, PVH said it would be streamlining its North America division to become a more effective organization, including consolidation of operations for the men’s Calvin Klein Sportswear and Calvin Klein Jeans businesses to strengthen the brand’s positioning.
The news came shortly after the company let go of its chief creative director Raf Simmons. Simons’ departure came after PVH said it was “disappointed” in the Calvin Klein 205 W39 NYC collection business and with poor sell-through on the Calvin Klein Jeans relaunch in December. The company also closed its Calvin Klein store at 654 Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
In the first quarter ended May 6, revenue in the Calvin Klein business was flat at $890 million compared to the prior-year period. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the quarter at Calvin Klein decreased to $48 million from $109 million in the prior-year period. Included in the EBIT were costs of $70 million in connection with the restructuring associated with the strategic changes for the Calvin Klein business.
Since joining PVH in 2006, Abel-Hodges has held various leadership positions across the organization. As group president of Calvin Klein North America, she helped set the strategic direction for the brand, driving a consumer-centric approach, according to PVH. Within the Underwear Group, Abel-Hodges led the development of PVH’s innovative underwear platform, overseeing design, merchandising, product development and planning for all of PVH’s underwear and women’s intimates businesses.
In addition to Calvin Klein, PVH’s brand portfolio includes Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, Izod, Arrow, Speedo, Warner’s, Olga and Geoffrey Beene brands, as well as the digital-centric True & Co. intimates brand.