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JC Penney Unveils Team For Merchandising, Brand Strategies

03/12/2012 | 04:06pm US/Eastern

J.C. Penney Co. (>> J.C. Penney Company, Inc.) unveiled a number of executive promotions and appointments, including executives tapped from companies such as Apple Inc. (>> Apple Inc.), Target Corp. (TGT) and Kellwood Co., to lead the retailer's merchandising, partnerships and brand strategies.

"As we fundamentally re-imagine every aspect of our business, we're tapping into the best internal and external talent in the industry," President Michael Francis said.

The company promoted Liz Sweney to chief merchant. Sweney most recently served as executive vice president and senior general merchandise manager for the company's women's apparel, accessories, footwear, jewelry and juniors divisions.

The chief merchant spot was formerly held by Ken Hicks, who also served as Penney's president and left the company in 2008.

J.C. Penney named Brian Robinson, who most recently served as director of fashion and design partnerships at Target Corp. (TGT), as its new vice president for marketing and design partnership. Coach Inc. (>> Coach, Inc.) merchandising executive Anne Cashill was appointed senior vice president of strategic brands. Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) executive Steve Seabolt will join the company as senior vice president of strategic brand alliances. Katheryn Burchett and Bill Gentner were also promoted to senior vice president positions.

To lead the company's brand makeover, J.C. Penney named Kellwood Co. executive Eric Hunter to senior vice president of marketing. The company also promoted Greg Clark to senior vice president of creative.

Apple Inc. veteran Mike Fisher will join the company as senior vice president of visual presentation, to oversee its new store presentation format. J.C.

Penney is in the midst of a vast transformation under new Chief Executive Ron Johnson, who came to the company from Apple and has brought along a number of colleagues.

The retailer said in January it will adopt three pricing tiers: everyday prices, month-long values, and best prices, or clearance on the first and third Fridays of the month. The approach is a marked departure from the current percent-off, coupon, and limited-time promotions pervasive among department stores.

Shares closed at $37.51 Monday and were unchanged after hours. The stock is up 6.7% so far this year.

-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

--Karen Talley contributed to this article.

Stocks mentioned in the article : Apple Inc., Coach, Inc., J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
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