J.C. Penney starts search for new CEO as Soltau to exit

FILE PHOTO: A JC Penney store is shown in Oceanside, California, U.S., July 31, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) -Department store chain J.C. Penney Co Inc said on Wednesday new owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc have begun a search for a new chief executive officer to replace Jill Soltau.

Soltau, who joined the struggling retailer about two years ago, will leave the company on Dec. 31.

Simon’s chief investment officer, Stanley Shashoua, would be appointed Penney’s interim CEO. The retailer said its new owners would establish a temporary office of the CEO to include key members of Penney’s current leadership team.

Penney said earlier this month its retail and operating assets would exit Chapter 11 as two of its biggest landlords, Simon and Brookfield, had acquired nearly all such assets.

The iconic department store had filed for bankruptcy in May after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to temporarily close its then nearly 850 stores.

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