Susan Metzger Exits Post at Jones Group

The chief executive officer of women’s wholesale better sportswear abruptly left the company last week.

NEW YORK — Things appear to be in flux at The Jones Group Inc.

This story first appeared in the January 25, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Susan Metzger, chief executive officer, women’s wholesale better sportswear at Jones, abruptly left the company last week. Her departure came on the heels of news that the firm was restructuring its Anne Klein New York division, which consists of the Anne Klein New York bridge collection and AK Anne Klein better line.

An e-mail, obtained by WWD, was sent to Jones employees saying that Metzger “retired” after 15 years with the firm. Metzger, 58, joined Jones as vice president of sales for the Lauren division in May 1996. She was promoted to her current role in July 2007. The e-mail said, “Although we will all miss Susan, she has worked hard all of her career and has earned the opportunity to enjoy more time with her family.”

Metzger couldn’t be reached Tuesday for comment.

Sources indicated that the company would not be shipping a fall 2012 Anne Klein New York collection, and said several seasoned sales executives at Jones were let go last week.

Wesley R. Card, The Jones Group Inc.’s chief executive officer, told WWD, “We are making substantial progress in reinvigorating our traditional core brands and growing our newer and primarily upscale contemporary brands. As we do this, we are focused on streamlining and finding efficiencies while continuing to invest in the right places for growth. As part of this effort, we continue to make some changes in our sportswear divisions, including Anne Klein, to better align our traditional core brands with Jones’ brand strategy and long-term vision.” He declined further comment on the future of the Anne Klein division and Metzger’s departure and successor.

Stefani Greenfield was hired last fall as chief creative officer to reinvigorate the corporate culture and portfolio of brands at Jones. She is working with the creative teams across all Jones brands, reporting to Richard Dickson, president and ceo of branded businesses, to help identify new talent where needed. According to Dickson, her role is to “really drive the branded point of view more clearly and distinctly through merchandising, design and creativity.”