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Paul Blum Exits CEO Post at Kenneth Cole

He plans to return to his prior advisory role at the company and work on strategic development.

Paul Blum, chief executive officer of Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., has resigned his post.

He plans to return to his prior advisory role at the company and work on strategic development. Kenneth Cole, chairman and chief creative officer, will assume the role of ceo.

“Paul rejoined the company last year and played an important role in our transition,” said Cole. “He was instrumental in laying out the company’s new strategic plan, and having him here allowed me to focus on the larger goal of taking the company private again. We have worked together for many years, and I remain appreciative of his ongoing support and friendship.” KCP went private in September, after 18 years as a public company.

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Blum added, “I am glad to have had the opportunity to work with Kenneth, and the entire Kenneth Cole organization, again during this critical period for the company. We accomplished a great deal, and I feel the company and its brands are well positioned for future growth.”

Both executives were unavailable for further comment Thursday. The transition will occur at the end of the month.

Blum rejoined KCP in March 2011 as vice chairman and was named ceo two months later, succeeding Jill Granoff. He returned to Cole after five years as ceo of David Yurman. He had previously spent 15 years at Cole in various assignments, including president and chief operating officer.

It’s been a busy time for Cole. Next year will mark the company’s 30th year in business. He is also collaborating with consulting creative director Kobi Halperin, who joined in June. Halperin’s first collection is for spring. Cole plans to return to fashion week with a runway show in February, his first since spring 2006.

In recent interviews, Cole has said that his priority is to focus more on design and getting the brand’s message out to the world, especially through digital marketing.

A spokeswoman said there are no plans to eventually name a new ceo. “We are looking for senior management to further support the team in its new chapter as a private company,” she said.