NEW YORK — Richard Dickson, president and chief executive officer of the former Jones Group’s branded businesses, is quietly stepping down — but not entirely out.
This story first appeared in the April 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A spokesman for Sycamore Partners, which bought Jones in a $2.2 billion deal this month and broke the company down into its constituent parts, said Dickson would be “stepping down” because of the decentralized nature of the new business format.
“He will be open to exploring other opportunities, but in the meantime will assist Sycamore with some of its portfolio companies,” the spokesman said. The private equity firm controls Hot Topic, Talbots and MGF Sourcing, in addition to the former Jones businesses, including Stuart Weitzman, Kurt Geiger, Nine West Group, a jeanswear business, Jones New York and Kasper.
Dickson received $2.2 million for his Jones stock and $9.2 million for the restricted shares he held when the deal closed. He also stood to receive a change-in-control that could have reached as high as $6.9 million if his employment was technically terminated by Sycamore. The spokesman declined to comment on that issue.
Dickson joined Jones in 2010 with a résumé that included stops at Estée Lauder and Mattel, where he was credited for turning around the Barbie brand.
He was responsible for Jones’ global wholesale and retail businesses and was seen internally as the lead candidate to take over for group ceo Wesley Card.
But the hoped-for reinvention never really took off.
The company acquired a string of buzzy brands — Stuart Weitzman, Brian Atwood and Kurt Geiger — but the namesake Jones label continued to struggle, moving in a more fashionable direction and then backing off. The company posted total net profits of just more than $100 million in 2010 and 2011, but logged losses for the next two years.
Sycamore said Tuesday that Card, who had been ceo of Jones since 2007, left the company. In the buyout, Card was set to receive $5 million for his Jones stock, $11.9 million for his restricted shares and a golden parachute payment of $10 million — a total of $26.8 million.