Penney’s Hit With Exec Departures – WWD

The shake-up at J.C. Penney Co. Inc. continues.

Bill Wafford, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Steve Whaley, controller and principal accounting officer, have left Penney’s.

As previously reported, Jill Soltau, Penney’s chief executive officer, also left Penney’s and the department store’s new owners — the Simon Property Group, Brookfield Asset Management and Authentic Brands Group — have launched a search for a new ceo. Stanley Shashoua, Simon’s chief investment officer, became interim ceo on Jan. 1. The owners also said a temporary office of the ceo, to include key members of Penney’s current leadership team, has been established.

The sole remaining officers of the company are Alan Carr, chief restructuring officer and vice president, and Steven Panagos, secretary.

As to be expected with its ownership, Penney’s is creating a new board. Carr and Panagos have been named to the board, while B. Craig Owens, Lisa Payne, Leonard Roberts, Javier Teruel and Ronald Tysoe have all left the board. Penney’s said the board resignations were not the result of any disagreement with the company or the board on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices. Penney’s has not provided explanations for the departures of Soltau, Wafford or Whaley.

Penney’s retail operations emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month in a deal selling its retail and operating assets to Simon and Brookfield, which will operate the chain. Authentic Brands Group is considered a strategic partner and will be able to feed Penney’s stores and website with merchandise from brands in the ABG portfolio.

Other aspects of the company’s bankruptcy, including the portion of its real estate business that its lenders will take over, are still working their way through the bankruptcy court and are expected to exit the process next year, according to a statement by the company.

J.C. Penney is seeking a new ceo. 
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