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Tommy Hilfiger Hires Gap’s Ermatinger as Asia Chief Executive

Tommy Hilfiger Group hired former Gap Inc. executive John Ermatinger to be its first chief executive officer for Asia.

The appointment of Ermatinger, who was Gap’s president for the Asia-Pacific region, takes effect Aug. 1, Tommy Hilfiger said in a statement.

“We consider Asia very much the focus market for the future,” Tommy Hilfiger Chief Executive Officer Fred Gehring said in a phone interview today. “An increased effort led by a seasoned executive such as John will further enhance our presence,” Gehring said in the statement.

Tommy Hilfiger, acquired by Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. last year, makes about $500 million of sales from Asia, or 10 percent of its global revenue, according to Gehring. It has more than 400 stores in Asia, excluding Australia, with 122 in Japan and 80 franchises in China, he said.

“The Tommy Hilfiger core brand DNA makes it very attractive to the youthful Asian market,” Ermatinger, who helped establish the Gap brand in China, said in the statement. “There is great opportunity for significant growth.”

He worked for at Levi Strauss & Co. from 1973 to 1998 before moving to Nike Inc., according to the statement. He joined Gap in 2006.

Tommy Hilfiger generates about 40 percent of its sales in the U.S. with approximately the same percentage made in Europe, Gehring said.

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