By  on October 10, 2012

Retail veteran W. Paul Jones has resigned as president and chief executive officer of Shopko Stores to join Payless Holdings as ceo.

Jones, who had been at the helm of the Green Bay, Wis.-based Shopko since 2009, will be succeeded on an interim basis by chief operating officer Mike Bettiga, who has been with the retailer since 2007. The company is looking for a replacement.

Jones, 51, is credited with successfully repositioning the Shopko business and spearheading the acquisition of Pamida, a rural retailer that was converted to a new small-market format, Shopko Hometown. Jones also was instrumental in the launch of Shopko’s e-commerce business.

Before joining Shopko, Jones was vice president of general merchandising for Sears Holdings Corp., where he worked on the turnaround of the company’s $2.3 billion men’s and children’s business. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of merchandising for Kohl’s Corp. He started his career at May Department Stores Co.

Jones will start at Payless on Oct. 22 and be based in Topeka, Kan.

Payless Holdings is one of the world’s largest footwear retailers with more than 4,300 stores, and is comprised of Payless ShoeSource and Collective Licensing International. Golden Gate Capital and Blum Capital Partners completed their acquisition of the company from Collective Brands Inc. in May. They were assisted in the recruitment of Jones by Herbert Mines & Associates.

Jones could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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