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Payless CEO Retires Following Chapter 11 Restructuring

Payless ShoeSource is in transition. The retailer’s CEO, Paul Jones, announced Thursday that he will retire as Chief Executive Officer following the completion of the company’s restructuring.

On Thursday, Payless announced that it has successfully emerged from its Chapter 11 restructuring. The retailer emerged from banksrupcy with about 3,500 brick and mortar stores and with substantial liquidity after eliminating in excess of $435 million in funded debt.

The post-emergence Board of Directors will begin a search to identify a new CEO to lead Payless forward. In the interim, Payless will be led by a newly appointed Executive Committee comprised of Payless Chief Financial Officer, Michael Schwindle, Payless Chief Operating Officer, Mike Vitelli, and headed by Martin R. Wade, III, Chairman of Payless’ post-emergence Board of Directors and interim Chief Executive Officer.

“We have accomplished our goals of strengthening our balance sheet and restructuring our debt load, positioning Payless to create substantial value for our stakeholders and achieve long-term success,” said Paul Jones in a press release. “In a year where so many major retail companies have filed for Chapter 11 restructurings, Payless is the first to successfully emerge as a stronger and healthier enterprise for the benefit of its customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, and lenders. That is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone at Payless, and I thank them for the honor of having worked with them over these past five years,” Jones continued.

Payless has relatively clean balance sheet. In a Reuters report, retail restructuring expert Christopher Jarvinen of law firm Berger Singerman said Payless has a business plan with a future. “It’s the antithesis of what we’ve seen in other retail bankruptcies,” he told Reuters.