The new owners of JCPenney department stores are searching for a new leader to replace chief executive officer Jill Soltau, who will step down Dec. 31 as the retailer navigates an exit from bankruptcy.
Stanley Shashoua, currently the chief investment officer of Simon Property Group, will become interim CEO of JCPenney effective Jan. 1, according to a statement Wednesday. The ownership group, consisting of Simon and Brookfield Asset Management, will establish a temporary office of the CEO that will include members of JCPenney’s current management team.
The leadership change comes less than a month after the department store chain completed a previously announced sale of the retail operations to its mall landlords. J.C. Penney Co., which filed for bankruptcy in May, said earlier this month that its property company remains in the Chapter 11 process and is expected to emerge in the first half of 2021.
Soltau, who was hired in October 2018, was in the middle of crafting a turnaround plan when the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe this year and temporarily shuttered many retail stores.
By Richard Clough