Despite facing a tough turnaround, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. continues to attract top talent.
In a string of appointments revealed Wednesday, Penney’s named former Target Corp. merchant Trish Adams as strategic adviser to simplify and improve Penney’s pricing and promotional strategies. She will work with Truett Horne, senior vice president, chief transformation officer.
Steve Whaley, formerly with Walmart Stores Inc., was named senior vice president, principal accounting officer and controller, reporting to Bill Wafford, executive vice president, chief financial officer.
And Laurene Gandolfo, formerly with Macy’s Inc., has been named Penney’s senior vice president for home product design and development, a new role reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president, chief merchant.
Jill Soltau, Penney’s chief executive officer since October 2018, said the executives announced Wednesday bring “significant expertise in their respective fields, and a track record of innovation and delivering results for some of the world’s largest and most reputable companies. Together, we will continue to strengthen our operational capabilities, optimize our product selection, and create a compelling and rewarding shopping experience for our customers.”
Adams was with Target for many years, most recently as executive vice president, merchandising product group where she oversaw Target’s product design and development, sourcing and visual merchandising initiatives. She also once served as senior vice president of apparel and accessories and led the team that forged partnerships with high-profile designers to create lower-priced collections exclusive to Target. Additionally, Adams served as executive vice president, apparel and home, heading up a team of merchants and product designers to develop and execute Target’s apparel and home strategy.
Whaley has more than 35 years of accounting and audit experience. He will lead Penney’s accounting operations and financial reporting functions, and will have oversight over finance and support services teams in Salt Lake City, Utah and Bangalore, India. He will develop strategic financial decisions to meet near- and long-term financial objectives. Whaley was with Walmart for more than 11 years where he served as the senior vice president and controller, principal accounting officer.
Gandolfo has 35 years of retail experience, including over 21 years specializing in the home area at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Penney’s home brands include JCPenney Home, Cooks and Liz Claiborne. Most recently, she was Macy’s executive vice president of men’s and kids’ private brands. Prior to that, she was executive vice president of home private brands where she ran a portfolio of 13 exclusive brands for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, several of which she and her teams launched.
Other recent hires at Penney’s, which has been struggling with weak sales trends and saddled by debt, include:
• Bill Wafford, formerly with the Vitamin Shoppe, who was named executive vice president, chief financial officer.
• Truett Horne, formerly with McKinsey & Company, became chief transformation officer.
• Michelle Wlazlo, another former Target executive, was named executive vice president, chief merchant.
• John Welling was named senior vice president, planning and allocation. He worked previously at The Michaels Co.
• Mark Stinde, formerly with 7-Eleven, became senior vice president, asset protection.
• Mike Robbins switched from being Penney’s executive vice president of private brands and supply chain, to executive vice president, chief stores and supply chain officer.
Penney’s continues to search for a chief customer officer.