J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau To Leave, New Owners Starts Search For New CEO

Department store chain J.C. Penney Co. Inc. Wednesday announced that its new owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management have begun a search for a new CEO to replace current leader Jill Soltau.

Soltau will leave the company on December 31. Soltau joined J.C. Penney about two years ago from fabric and craft retailer Joann Stor. She was hired after former CEO Marvin Ellison left to lead Lowe's.

Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management said that they're looking for a new leader "who is focused on modern retail, the consumer experience, and the goal of creating a sustainable and enduring JCPenney."

Early this month, J. C. Penney emerged from bankruptcy after Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management acquired substantially all of its assets.

J.C. Penney had filed for bankruptcy protection in mid-May, citing the impact of unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic on its business. Like majority of retailers across the country, J.C. Penney were forced to close stores for months due to the lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic that hurt their sales.

Even before the pandemic outbreak, slowing foot traffic amid the ever-increasing online competition from industry majors and the changing consumer habits had led to many retailers shuttering stores and seeking bankruptcy protection.

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