By  on December 2, 2005

NEW YORK — In an effort to improve its overall performance, Jones Apparel Group Inc. has realigned some key management positions.

The company has promoted Lynne Cote to the newly created post of chief executive officer, wholesale sportswear, suits and dresses. Previously, Cote was ceo of moderate apparel at the firm, overseeing such brands as Evan-Picone, Rena Rowan, Nine & Co. and Bandolino.

Cote, who continues to report to Peter Boneparth, ceo of Jones Apparel Group, now holds complete responsibility for all wholesale sportswear, suit and dress lines, including the flagship brands: Jones New York, Anne Klein New York and Nine West. Her role will encompass her most recent responsibilities for the firm's moderate apparel sportswear brands until a successor is named. Once that post is filled, that executive will report to Cote.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Boneparth said Cote's promotion will allow the company to better serve all of its wholesale customers with quicker responses to their needs, have consistent product across the categories and leverage the infrastructure of the entire firm.

"Lynne will really help me to be able to focus on other strategic issues involving the company as a whole," Boneparth said. "We are clearly trying to get even more product-focused in a more unified way; these promotions will help us along."

In other moves, Boneparth has promoted Mark Mendelson to chief merchandising officer, better apparel. Previously, he was group president, handling Jones' better sportswear brands — Nine West, Jones New York and Anne Klein. In his new role, Mendelson is responsible for the company's wholesale merchandising and assortment activities for its better apparel divisions.

Boneparth said the appointment will allow for better brand consistency across product categories.

Susan Metzger has been named president, sales and marketing, better sportswear. Previously, Metzger was group president. She is now responsible for leading and coordinating sales and marketing for the company's wholesale better sportswear categories.

Finally, Boneparth has promoted Gregg Marks to ceo of Jones' suit divisions. Earlier, Marks was group president of the Jones suit division.

Mendelson, Metzger and Marks all report to Cote.

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