JCPenney has a new CEO. The department store retailer announced that Marc Rosen, a 25-year retail industry veteran who most recently served as executive vice president and president of Levi Strauss Americas at Levi Strauss & Co., will join the company effective Nov. 1.

The hiring gives Penney a permanent CEO after having filled the position on an interim basis since January. Penney’s former chief executive Jill Soltau left the retailer on Dec. 31, about a month after the company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings through a sale to Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management.

Stanley Shashou, Simon’s chief investment officer, who served as  interim chief of Penney, has been appointed as executive chairman of the retailer’s board. Mr. Shashoua said in a statement  that Mr. Rosen is joining a company that has focused on stabilizing its business, improving its financial position and setting itself up for success going forward.

“Marc’s significant e-commerce and retail experience makes him the perfect fit to lead the next chapter of the company’s transformation as we work to better serve our customers,” said Mr. Shashoua.

Mr. Rosen led the commercial operations for Levi’s, Dockers, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. and Denizen brands across all channels in his former role. He is credited with having driven the company’s digital strategy while in the position.

“I have spent my career focused on iconic American retailers and it has given me a unique perspective on the value of heritage brands,” said Mr. Rosen. “Joining at this milestone moment in the company’s history, I am eager to propel the business into its next era and connect with our customers in new ways.”

Penney claims to have made significant progress over the course of 2021, including improving its digital and fulfillment capabilities. The chain has introduced and relaunched 16 private and exclusive national brands and rolled out JCPenney Beauty, its new inclusive beauty experience. Penney claims its efforts to date have helped it “win back customers and gain market share, resulting in current liquidity of $1.5 billion.”

David Simon, CEO of Simon Property Group, said on the company’s second quarter earnings call in August that Penney’s same-store sales were outperforming the chain’s plan and that it did not “have any outstanding balance on their line of credit.” Penney’s sales, he admitted, were still below its pre-pandemic levels.


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