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NEW YORK CITY-William McComb, currently the company group chairman at Johnson & Johnson, is the new chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne, effective Nov. 6. McComb takes the reigns from Paul Charron, who has led the apparel maker and retailer for 12 years.

The 43-year-old McComb has been with Johnson & Johnson for 14 years. He was named group chairman at his current firm after leading its consumer and pharmaceutical segments, working with such brands as Tylenol, Motrin, and Clean & Clear.

Charron announced is intention to retire in January. He will become chairman emeritus on Jan. 1 and will provide consulting services to Liz Claiborne for one year.

Under Charron’s watch, the company’s specialty retail operations have expanded, transforming the firm from an outfit that mainly sold its brands in department stores. Through acquisitions and expansion it now operates stores under the Elisabeth, Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand jeans, Mexx and Sigrid Olsen banners.

During its most recent quarter, which was reported in July, Liz Claiborne’s overall retail sales came in at $338 million, up 14.7% from the previous year. Same-store sales for specialty and outlet units combined increased 1.8%.

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