The Jones Group has announced that the company's founder and chairman Sidney Kimmel will become its non-executive chairman from 1 January 2011.

Jones' board said that Jones will donate US$8m to honour Mr Kimmel, his contributions to the company and to recognise his charitable initiatives.

This transition from executive chairman will mark the end of the 40th year since Kimmel founded the company.

Wesley R Card, director and chief executive officer of The Jones Group, said: "The board of directors believes that the gift to Johns Hopkins is a very important way to honor what Sidney has put in place at that institution.

"We also believe that the educational assistance trust that we are establishing will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our associates, as they continue their substantial efforts on behalf of the company and its stakeholders."