Sidney Kimmel, the Philadelphia philanthropist and founder of apparel company the Jones Group Inc., will transition from executive chairman to nonexecutive chairman of the company on Jan. 1, Jones announced today.

Kimmel founded Jones 40 years ago. It changed names from Jones Apparel Group in October to reflect its evolving portfolio of businesses, including Nine West shoes. The company has financial offices in Bristol Township, Bucks County, and headquarters in New York.

In Kimmel's honor, the Jones board approved donations of $6 million to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, and $2 million to establish a trust for postsecondary educational assistance to children of Jones associates.    - Reid Kanaley