J.C. Penney Executive Appointments Reinforce Growth Initiatives

J.C. Penney has made several appointments to its executive team, including in its home categories, as it continues to reinforce its growth initiatives.

Steve Whaley has been named svp/principal accounting officer and controller, reporting to Bill Wafford, evp/chief financial officer, effective April 29. Whaley joins the company with over 35 years of accounting and audit leadership experience. He will lead the company’s accounting operations and financial reporting functions, and will have oversight over the finance and support services teams in Salt Lake City, Utah and Bangalore, India.

Whaley was with Walmart for over 11 years where he served as the svp/controller, principal accounting officer. Prior to Walmart, he was with Southwest Airlines for over 16 years, ultimately serving as their vp/controller.

The company also named Laurene Gandolfo as svp/home product design and development reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, evp/chief merchant. Gandolfo is a seasoned leader with 35 years of varied retail experience, including over 21 years specializing in the home area at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. In this newly created role, she will apply her home experience to re-establish relevance across the company’s home categories and focus and segment J.C. Penney brands including J.C. Penney Home, Cooks and Liz Claiborne.

Gandolfo joins the company on April 22 from Macy’s, where she most recently served as evp/men’s and kids’ private brands. Prior to that, she was evp/home private brands where she ran a portfolio of 13 exclusive brands for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.

Trish Adams will serve as a strategic advisor to J.C. Penney, supporting the company’s transformation office led by Truett Horne, svp/chief transformation officer. Adams will evaluate and create plans to simplify and improve the effectiveness and profitability of the company’s pricing and promotional strategies. Adams has had an extensive career at Target and previously served as their svp/apparel and accessories. Most recently, she was evp/merchandising product group where she was responsible for overseeing Target’s product design and development, sourcing and visual merchandising initiatives.

“I am delighted to welcome these highly regarded leaders to J.C. Penney. Each brings 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,” said Jill Soltau, CEO for J.C. Penney. “Over the past few months we have assembled a talented team of proven executives with a relentless drive for results. Their leadership will play a meaningful role in delivering profitable growth and positioning J.C. Penney for success.”