By  on April 14, 2006

NEW YORK - Jones Apparel Group announced a shakeup of its executive ranks intended to consolidate management.

On Friday, the $5 billion apparel manufacturer, announced that Rhonda Brown, president and chief executive officer of the company’s footwear, accessories and retail group, is no longer with the company. Brown’s responsibilities will now be split between Andrew Cohen, who has been promoted to ceo of wholesale footwear and accessories, and Heather Pech, who has been appointed ceo of company-owned retail footwear and apparel.

“I am confident that this new management structure will enable us to better leverage Andy’s and Heather’s considerable experience and leadership skills,” said Peter Boneparth, president and ceo, in a statement.

Brown came to Jones in December 2001, after having served as president and director at Steven Madden Ltd.

In a phone interview, Boneparth said the need for Brown’s position was no longer necessary after Cohen and Pech were named president of their respective divisions at the end of January.

“We feel there’s no need for that position of responsibility,” said Boneparth, adding that Cohen and Pech will now report directly to him. “We continue to shorten the lines of communication. As we’re going through a general reorganization, the shorter the lines of communication, the more responsive we can be to our customers.”

For complete coverage, see Monday's WWD.

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