J.C. Penney Co. Inc.’s chief executive officer Jill Soltau has just filled another key spot.
James DePaul, a 25-year veteran of retailing, has been named executive vice president of stores, effective Aug. 5. He will report to Soltau, who despite Penney’s financial difficulties and uncertain future, has managed to attract talent from several major retailers, including Target Corp., 7-Eleven and The Michaels Cos. She’s been placing new people into top positions since she joined the company in October.
DePaul joins newcomers Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchant; Bill Wafford, chief financial officer; Shawn Gensch, executive vice president and chief customer officer; Brynn Evanson, chief human resources officer, and Therace Risch, chief information and digital officer. Also, four senior vice presidents were named not long ago: Laurene Gandolfo, home product design and development; Truett Horne, chief transformation officer; John Welling, planning and allocation, and Mark Stinde, asset protection.
Penney’s continues to search for a new e-commerce chief.
DePaul succeeds Michael Robbins, executive vice president of stores and supply chain, who will leave Penney’s on Aug. 3. Robbins briefly held that post since January and was previously head of private brands and supply chain.
Soltau credited DePaul with a “track record of delivering a positive, end-to-end customer experience through seamless omnichannel integration.” He will oversee the stores, store operations, store environment and design and asset protection teams.
Previously, DePaul served as Shopko Stores’ chief operations officer, with responsibility for stores, pharmacy, optical, supply chain, e-commerce operations, non-merchandise procurement, store operations, store development, loss prevention and merchandise support. Penney’s said at Shopko, DePaul raised customer service scores, reduced operating expenses and improved shrink and overall productivity.
Earlier roles at Shopko included chief administrative officer and senior vice president of stores and operations. DePaul began his career in 1995 and spent three years in merchandising and operations at Target before joining Shopko in 1998 as a store manager.