Jones Group Founder Takes Non-Executive Role

Sidney Kimmel, founder of The Jones Group Inc., is stepping down as executive chairman of the company.

Starting Jan. 1, 2011, Kimmel, 82, will transition into the role of non-executive chairman of the firm he founded 40 years ago, Jones said in a statement Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the position of executive chairman will be eliminated, said the group in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Jones also announced it will donate $8 million to honor Kimmel and his accomplishments, and to enhance his many charitable initiatives.

The firm will donate $6 million to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine, in Baltimore, as well as establish a $2 million trust for post-secondary educational assistance for children of Jones Group associates who demonstrate academic excellence.

“Sidney Kimmel built Jones from the ground up to become a leading multibrand fashion company,” Wesley Card, director and CEO of The Jones Group, said in the statement. “Sidney’s extraordinary philanthropic generosity and innovative leadership in cancer treatment and research are unmatched, and are a great source of pride to his associates at Jones. The board of directors believes that the gift to Johns Hopkins is a very important way to honor what Sidney has put in place at that institution.”

Kimmel said it is “a source of personal pride to see this company continue its spirit of sharing with others.”

In October, Kimmel was given the FFANY Jodi Fisher Humanitarian Award for his commitment to cancer research, donating more than $550 million in the last two decades.

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