Rick Paterno is saying goodbye to The Jones Group Inc. next month.
“It’s bittersweet for me. I have had an amazing experience at Jones,” said Paterno, group president of footwear. “There is such a good group of people there and a lot of exciting things are happening. It was great to be a part of it.”
Paterno, who will remain at the company through June, said he decided to make a “lifestyle change” at the end of last year. The executive said he looked forward to spending the summer at his home in Vermont before considering his next move. Paterno has a non-compete in place “for a while.”
Reflecting on his time at the company, which he joined in 2008, Paterno said he was proud of the team he had built and the culture he instilled.
“We got our brands in a much better place,” he added. “It was a really tremendous experience.”
And Paterno said he was confident about Jones’ future.
“During a challenging economic time, [President and CEO of the branded business] Richard [Dickson] has come in and made some bold changes. I’m optimistic about the future. It will be interesting to watch from afar.”
Of his own future, Paterno said, “I love this business. It’s part of who I am. For sure I’ll be back.”
Paterno previously left the footwear business for a short period after leading The Rockport Co.