NEW HR CHIEF FOR PENNEY: In his first appointment since taking over the reins at J.C. Penney, chief executive Myron Ullman on Monday named Michael Theilmann as the retailer’s executive vice president, chief human resources and administration officer. Theilmann, formerly of Yum Brands, joins the broadlines retailer on June 1. Theilmann, 41, succeeds Gary Davis, 62, who joined the retailer in 1964 as a trainee. Davis served as chief human resources and administration officer since 1996. Davis was elected executive vice president in 1998, and recently announced his plans to retire after 41 years with J.C. Penney.

RICCI AND REEBOK: Actress Christina Ricci is a new face for Reebok. In ads breaking later this month, Ricci will be featured in the athletic company’s “I Am What I Am” advertising campaign, and actor John Leguizamo, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb also will be in the new round of ads. The company kicked off the campaign in March, its biggest marketing expenditure in nearly a decade. In a separate development, Reebok said it will be the title sponsor of the Reebok Grand Prix, a global track and field invitational. The meet will be held at the new Icahn Stadium in New York on June 11.

INDUSTRY BACKS SAFE HORIZON: Ali and Joe Torre will be honored by actress Lorraine Bracco at the 10th annual Safe Horizon Champion Awards luncheon today at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York. This year’s Liz Claiborne Champion award will be presented to Catherine Hawas, a survivor of domestic violence, by Paul R. Charron, chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne Inc. Other industry executives expected are Eugenia Ulasewicz, president of Burberry, as well as representatives from Phillips-Van Heusen, Jones New York, C-IN2, Limited Brands and Bloomingdale’s. Safe Horizon is a nonprofit victims’ assistance organization, whose mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, as well as their families and communities.

SEARS’ ORCHARD ON BLOCK: Sears Holding Corp. is pursuing its first possible divestiture since the Sears merger with Kmart. The company said on Monday that it is exploring “strategic alternatives” for the separation of its Orchard Supply Hardware chain, which could include either a sale of the business or an initial public offering. “Sears Holdings is focusing its management attention and capital on the opportunities in our core business presented by the merger of Sears and Kmart,” according to Alan J. Lacy, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings, in a statement. Lacy added that the aim was to provide the 82-unit hardware and garden supply chain capital to grow its store base while at the same time providing value to Sears Holdings.

This story first appeared in the May 10, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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