JCPenney names Jill Soltau as its new CEO

The firm introduced on Tuesday that Soltau will take over as its chief government starting on October 15. JCPenney has been leaderless since Marvin Ellison left in May to take the highest job at Lowe’s.

Soltau, 51, would be the 25th lady presently main a Fortune 500 firm, in accordance with Fortune journal. She will turn out to be Penney’s fifth chief government up to now decade.

She will make a base wage of $1.4 million, with a $6 million signing bonus and might be eligible for annual performance-based bonuses.

In an indication that Soltau has Wall Street’s approval to start, shares rose 10% in prolonged buying and selling.

Soltau will face a frightening process: turning round JCPenney (JCP), a former retail heavyweight that has fallen greater than 50% this yr and slipped to shut to $1.50 a share. Penney is currently without its chief financial officer. Jeffrey Davis resigned final week solely 14 months after taking the job.
The challenges at JCPenney are enormous. It is greater than $4 billion in debt and has posted a revenue in solely two quarters throughout the previous 4 years. Penney lost $101 million in its most recent quarter.
JCPenney’s decline comes at a second when rival malls Nordstrom (JWN), Kohl’s (KSS) and Macy’s (M) have demonstrated a capability to reinvent their companies for the digital buying period.

Soltau must make robust selections about Penney’s retailer footprint. The firm has 860 shops and a whole lot of them are in struggling malls. JCPenney additionally has a glut of clothes piling up at its warehouses and shops.

Penney has been looking for a pacesetter with merchandising expertise to assist it make higher selections about which manufacturers to promote in shops.

“We wanted someone with rich apparel and merchandising experience and found Jill to be an ideal fit,” board director Paul Brown stated in a information launch.

Soltau took over at Joann in 2015. She has additionally held positions at Shopko, Sears, and Kohl’s.

Penney choosing Soltau alerts the corporate needs to interrupt from Ellison’s technique.

Ellison was a former Home Depot government and led Penney into the equipment enterprise. But his tenure had combined outcomes: Washers and dryers weren’t main attracts for purchasers and its clothes assortment suffered.

Penney believes its core buyers are middle-aged girls. Earlier this month, Penney launched Artesia, a new girls’s stylish model for lower than $30.

CNNMoney’s Julia Carpenter contributed to this story.

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