J. C. Penney Co appoints Jill Soltau as CEO

Jill Soltau, who will join the company in mid-October, will have the task of turning it around. In August 2018, J. C. Penney reported a higher than expected second quarter loss and revised its full-year forecast.

J. C. Penney Co Inc disclosed, it has hired Jill Soltau, the former CEO of Joann Stores as its chief executive officer. She will join the company sometime in mid-October.

J. C. Penney’s shares, which hit a record low last week when its chief financial officer (CFO) quit, rose nearly 10% on Tuesday in after-market trading.

In a career spending nearly 30 years, Soltau has served in senior level positions at Sears and Kohl’s said the company in a statement.

The appointment comes five months after Marvin Ellison, the former CEO, left the company to join Lowe’s Cos Inc, a home improvement chain.

Soltau has the task of resurrecting J. C. Penney’s declining sales with shoppers preferring to shop online rather than visit brick-and-mortar stores.

“The new CEO has an uphill battle to resurrect the brand … hopefully, she will focus on merchandising to the core customer and addressing the sole problem at the company, which has been apparel,” said Chuck Grom, an analyst at Gordon Haskett.

J.C Penney has reported a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss and had cut its full-year profit forecast in August.

“If she can fix apparel, she will help stabilize the company’s profit margins, which have been under substantial pressure for the past few years,” said Grom.

According to Paul Brown, chairman of J. C. Penney’s search committee, Soltau’s turnaround work at prior companies as well as her experience in apparel and e-commerce made her an “ideal fit” for the company.

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Categories: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Strategy

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