Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

CNN Business New York —

Spanx, the brand founded by shapewear pioneer Sara Blakely, has named Kim Jones as her successor as CEO.

The Atlanta-based company promoted Jones, a longtime Spanx executive, on Friday. Jones joined Spanx in 2005, having previously served as the brand’s chief financial officer and president.

Jones said she hopes to expand Spanx’s international and digital growth and its apparel offerings. Just last week, the company launched its first dress collection.

Blakely will continue to serve as Chairman of the Spanx Board of Directors.

“She was instrumental in the company’s evolution from its inception to today’s category-defining, digital-first apparel brand,” said Blakely. “Her love and deep understanding of the brand and customers make her the perfect person for the job (no pun intended).”

Blakely started Spanx in 2000 with just $5,000 in savings. Twenty years later, the brand has become synonymous with shapewear and has inspired numerous other players in the market it created, including Skims, the company founded by Kim Kardashian West in 2019.

In October 2021, the company signed a deal with private equity firm Blackstone to acquire a majority stake in Spanx, a move that valued the business at $1.2 billion. She celebrated the deal by giving employees two first-class tickets and $10,000 each.

Blakely was named the youngest self-made female billionaire by Forbes in 2012. She told CNN Business in 2018 that before starting her company, she tried several gigs — including a failed attempt at being a Goofy at Disney World.

“My dream is to have more female inventors,” she said at the time. “We need women’s contributions.”

– CNN’s Rob McLean contributed to this report