NEW YORK — After 15 years at Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., Paul Blum is exiting the company as president.

He is leaving to pursue other opportunities, according to a statement released by the company Monday. The brand's namesake Kenneth Cole, who already serves as chairman and chief executive officer, is assuming Blum's responsibilities until a replacement is named.

"Paul has been an instrumental member of the management team of Kenneth Cole Productions for the last 15 years," Cole said. "He has been a great partner in developing, building and segmenting the business and its brands. He began with the company when we were a small footwear business, and his contributions have helped us grow to become the multibrand, dual-gender, international lifestyle business that we are today."

Blum joined the company in 1990, after Cole bought out The Blum Co., a handbag business owned by Blum's family. Blum has served as president since March 2002.

As interim president, Cole will get some help from newly appointed president of the wholesale division and executive vice president of the corporation Richard Olicker and senior vice president and general manager of international operations Henrik Madsen Jensen. They will report directly to Cole.

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