Signage will be displayed outside a JC Penney Co. store in Chicago, Illinois.
Christopher Dilts | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jill Soltau, CEO of J.C. Penney, tapped to turn the troubled department store over, is set to leave the company on Thursday.
The new owners of the company, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management, said Wednesday that they are looking for a new leader “focused on modern retail, the customer experience and the goal of creating a sustainable and lasting JCPenney.”
The Plano, Texas-based retailer Filed for bankruptcy in May and showed up earlier this month. It joined a growing list of retailers marginalized by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the old retailer’s problems began before the global health crisis. Sales have decreased annually since 2016. At the time of filing for bankruptcy, the sales area of around 860 stores in 2001 was less than a quarter of the store base.
About two years ago the company did commissioned Soltau to manage its turnaround efforts after its former CEO Marvin Ellison left to run Lowes. She was previously CEO of Joann Stores. At the time, news of her hiring sent stocks up as investors hoped she would bring fresh ideas and fuel growth in the department store.
This year, however, the company’s efforts were scaled back as its stores were temporarily closed during the pandemic and its already tight finances were hit.
According to a press release, Simon’s Chief Investment Officer Stanley Shashoua will serve as interim CEO.
This story evolves and is updated.