Barington CEO to step into Jones Group board

NEW YORK — The Jones Group Inc. has nominated chairman and CEO of Barington Capital Group James A. Mitarotonda to stand for election to the board of directors at the company's 2013 annual meeting of stockholders. 

With the addition of Mitarotonda, the Jones board of directors will expand to 11 members, 8 of whom are independent, 10 of whom are non-management and all of whom are annually elected.  

"We value Jim's expertise in the retail, apparel and footwear industries and welcome his input as we continue to execute on our plan and drive results during this pivotal period of transformation for the Company. The Jones Group board of directors and management team are focused on improving profitability and enhancing shareholder value for the long-term," said Robert L. Mettler, chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee and presiding independent director of the board of directors.

"I am pleased to join the board of the Jones Group, a well-respected company with significant potential for future growth. I support the recent initiatives the company has taken and I look forward to working with my fellow directors to build value for all Jones Group stockholders," added Mitarotonda. 

After joining the board, Mitarotonda will be serving on the audit committee.

Barington represents a group of investors who owns approximately 2.3% of the Jones Group common stock. As part of the agreement between the Jones Group and Barington, which gave Jones Group the go-ahead to nominate Mitarotonda, Barington has agreed to vote its shares in support of all the company's director nominees at the 2013 annual meeting. Barington has also agreed to certain customary "standstill" provisions.

The annual meeting will be held June 14, and stockholders of record at the close of business on March 26 will be entitled to vote.

Mitarotonda co-founded Barington Capital Group, an investment firm, Nov. 1991. He currently serves as a director of A. Schulman, Inc. and The Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack and is a former director of a number of publically traded companies, including Griffon Corporation, Gerber Scientific, Inc., Register.com, Inc. and Ameron International Corporation. Mitarotonda received an MBA from New York University's Graduate School of Business Administration (now known as the Stern School of Business) and a BA in economics from Queens College, where he now serves as chairman of its business advisory board.

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