J.C. Penney Shares Are Surging After Naming New CEO
J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau

J.C. Penney Co.  (JCP) shares surged more than 11% on Wednesday, Oct. 3, after the retailer named a new CEO. 

The embattled department store company tapped Jill Soltau, whose appointment is effective Oct. 15. Soltau is a retail veteran, and most recently served as CEO of Jo-Ann Stores Inc., a specialty retail seller of fabrics and other household materials. 

"Jill stood out from the start among an incredibly strong slate of candidates," Paul J. Brown, board director and search committee chairman, said in a press release. Brown added, "We wanted someone with rich apparel and merchandising experience and found Jill to be an ideal fit."

"I am highly passionate about the customer and I spent my entire career focused on the needs of a value-based consumer by researching, understanding and meeting her expectations for style, quality and inspiration," Soltau said. 

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Soltau's hire came not long after Penney's Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Jeffrey Davis resigned in late September, a resignation that went into effect Monday, Oct. 1.

The company's last CEO, Marvin Ellison, announced his resignation in May, saying he wanted to pursue other opportunities. He is now CEO of Lowe's Cos.

J.C. Penney shares have declined 52% this year. 

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