C-SUITE

J.C. Penney beefs up executive team; new hires include former Target exec

BY Marianne Wilson

J.C. Penney is making several key additions to its management ranks — including a new chief merchant — as Jill Soltau, who took the reins as CEO last fall, continues to build her team.

Effective March 1, Michelle Wlazlo will join the company as executive VP, chief merchant. Most recently, she served as senior VP of apparel and accessories merchandising at Target Corp., where she helped lead the company’s strategy and implementation of a robust merchandising program that included transforming the presentation of 1,400 stores and launching 15 new private brands, Penney stated.

Prior to Target, Wlazlo spent 19 years at Gap Inc. in a variety of roles, most recently as senior VP Gap global merchandising across all brand divisions. She began her career at Saks Fifth Avenue as a department manager before assuming store leadership and buying roles at Bebe Stores.

Penney also announced that it has filled two additional key senior executive positions:

• John Welling joined the company on Feb. 28 as senior VP, planning & allocation. He most recently serving as senior VP of merchandise operations for The Michaels Companies where he led planning, pricing, inventory management and merchandise finance. Prior to Michaels, Welling spent over a decade at Walmart serving in executive positions of increasing responsibility.

• Mark Stinde will join Penney on March 4 as senior VP, asset protection. Stinde joins the department store company from 7-Eleven where he most recently served as VP of asset protection. He has held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Toys ‘R’ Us, The Home Depot, Sears, and Circuit City.

Each of these executives will play a meaningful role in our Company’s evolution as we work to build our operational capabilities,” said Soltau. “I’m confident that the addition of our newly appointed leaders will inspire the level of progress and momentum needed to deliver a compelling and rewarding shopping experience for our customers and position J.C. Penney for success.”

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