Heasley succeeds Paula Bennett, who will retire as president and ceo. Bennett will remain with the company for the next four weeks to work closely with Heasley and the leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.
Bennett said, “It has been an honor and privilege to work with our talented team, and I am very proud of the company we have created over the past 10 years.” Bennett headed up the leadership team that took the company public in March 2017. She said she has worked with Heasley over the past year while both served on the J. Jill board. Bennett added: “I am confident that her leadership experience combined with her deep understanding of our industry, our company and our customers will make her extremely well-suited to lead the company.”
Michael Rahamim, J. Jill’s chairman, said, “Under Paula’s leadership and vision, J. Jill executed a profitable turnaround and grew into a premier omnichannel brand with exceptional customer loyalty and a strong operational foundation.”
Heasley has served on the board of J. Jill since March 2017. Heasley most recently was the ceo of The HoneyBaked Ham Co. She was also the ceo and president of Lane Bryant Inc. from 2013 to 2017, and before that was chairman, president and ceo at Limited Stores from 2007 to 2013. Both of her stints at Lane Bryant and Limited Stores involved turnaround situations where Heasley was credit for revitalizing the brands. She also has held senior leadership roles at CVS Health Corp., Timberland LLC and L Brands Inc. Heasley also has been on the board of Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. since May 2017.
Heasley said of J. Jill and her new role, “This company has a long track record of success, and it holds tremendous potential for continued growth for years to come. I look forward to working with the strong team that is in place to delight current and new customers and position the company for the future.”
Jill is slated to disclose its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results later this morning.