- Huw Hughes
JCPenney has announced that its CEO Jill Soltau has exited the company
in the same month the business emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The iconic US department store chain’s new owners, Simon Property Group
Brookfield Asset Management, said they have started a search for a new CEO
who should be “focused on modern retail, the consumer experience, and the
goal of creating a sustainable and enduring JCPenney”.
Simon Property Group’s chief investment officer Stanley Shashoua has
been appointed as interim CEO, effective 1 January.
It’s been quite the year for JCPenney. The company earlier this month
emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy having completed its previously
announced sale, under which Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset
Management acquired substantially all of its retail and operating
JCPenney begins search for new CEO
Like the majority of retailers across the US, JCPenney was forced to
close its stores for months at a time due to lockdown restrictions earlier
this year, adding to already difficult pre-Covid trading as the retailer
struggled with slowing foot traffic amid growing competition from online
JCPenney filed for bankruptcy protection in mid-May, citing the impact
of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business. It entered into a restructuring
support agreement with lenders of its first lien debt to reduce its
outstanding debts and strengthen its financial position.
That same month, Neiman Marcus Group Inc., J.Crew Group Inc., and Stage
Stores Inc. also filed for bankruptcy protection, while in the following
months, Brooks Brothers and Lord & Taylor followed the same path.
On JCPenney’s emergence from Chapter 11 this month, Brian Kingston, CEO
of real estate at Brookfield Asset Management, said: “We are excited to
help lead the turnaround of a storied institution while saving tens of
thousands of jobs and continuing to serve over 35 million customers.”
Photo credit: JCPenney