JoAnn Stores seeks new CEO as Jill Soltau leaves for J.C. Penney

October 3, 2018

JoAnn Stores seeks new CEO as Jill Soltau leaves for J.C. Penney

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Jill Soltau has resigned as president and CEO of Hudson-based JoAnn Stores to become the new leader of J.C. Penney Co, according to both companies’ announcements.

JoAnn reported in a news release Tuesday that Soltau is leaving “to pursue an outside opportunity,” while Plano, Texas, based retailer J.C. Penney confirmed that she’s taking the helm of the struggling department store chain.

She takes over as CEO on Oct. 15. J.C. Penney has been leaderless since Marvin Ellison left in May to take the top job at Lowe’s.

Soltau, 51, will be the 25th woman currently leading a Fortune 500 company, according to Fortune magazine. She will become Penney’s fifth chief executive in the past decade.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Jill for her leadership and vision to achieve sustained, profitable growth during her tenure at JoAnn, and wish her the best in her future endeavors. I am also glad to announce Wade Miquelon as interim president and CEO, and am confident that he will lead the company as it continues to execute its strategic growth goals,” John Yoon, principal at Leonard Green & Partners, said in a statement.

Miquelon joined JoAnn as executive vice president and chief financial officer in March 2016 and partnered with Soltau to advance a strategic growth plan that includes revitalized branding, refreshed merchandising strategy, expanded digital capabilities, and customer-focused storefront innovation.

Previously, he was executive vice president, CFO and president of International at The Walgreen Co., where he oversaw strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business development, market planning, and risk management.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Soltau will receive a one-time cash bonus from Penney for $6 million. Her base annual salary there will be $1.4 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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