Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — Allen Questrom, chairman and chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co., stated Monday that there’s been “no discussions” about Vanessa Castagna leaving Penney’s.
“There’s no truth that her contract is being bought out,” Questrom told WWD.
For weeks, rumors have circulated that Castagna, executive vice president of the corporation and president and chief operating officer for Penney’s stores, catalog and Internet, might be leaving. But Questrom, anxious to quell the rumors, stated Monday, “I’ve not talked to her about leaving and I don’t believe any board member has, either. These are all rumors. They’re not fact-based.”
Last Thursday, Castagna responded to rumors, telling WWD, “I am here at J.C. Penney and committed to this company. Allen and I are aligned. We are focused. I’ve learned so much from him.”
Castagna, formerly Wal-Mart’s top women’s apparel merchant before joining Penney’s in 1999, has been instrumental in Penney’s reorganization and centralization of the buying process. She’s considered among the top executives in the mass and moderate markets.
Last week, Penney’s announced several high-level changes in the merchandising ranks. Among them, Charles Chinni was named senior vice president and general merchandise manager for home and fine jewelry.
William Cappiello was named senior vice president and gmm for men’s and children’s wear, and Edward Mawyer was named vice president and director of merchandising for family footwear.

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