J C Penney Names John Tighe As New Chief Merchant Officer

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J C Penney announced the promotion of John Tighe to executive vice president, chief merchant officer starting on October 1. He will report to the company’s CEO Marvin Ellison.

Prior to his promotion, Mr. Tighe served as senior vice president and senior general merchandise manager for the children’s, men’s, footwear, handbag, and intimate apparel divisions of J C Penney. He joined J C Penney as a buyer in 2002.

Before joining J C Penney, Mr. Tighe worked at May Department Stores in a series of merchandising roles for about ten years. He has 24 years experience in the retail industry.

Mr. Tighe will replace Elizabeth Sweney, who will serve in an advisory role until the end of the fiscal year, at which time she will retire after 16 years of service, according to the company.

Mr. Ellison approached some veterans in the retail industry to serve as chief merchant officer. He wanted to find a person with an extensive experience in merchandising to fill the position partly because he lacks in that area, according to report from the Wall Street Journal based on information from a person familiar with the matter.

J C Penney CEO describes Mr. Tighe as an extraordinary merchant

In a statement, Mr. Ellison said Mr. Tighe is an “extraordinary merchant,” who “curated some of the most high-performing brand portfolios in retail.”

“This broad experience gives him a keen understanding of the retail business, which will be essential to our success as we seize greater opportunities in omnichannel and increased private brand penetration, while positioning J CPenney as the best shopping destination for national brands and in-store attractions,” added Mr. Ellison.

Furthermore, Mr. Ellison said he admired the level of bench strength that exists among the merchant talent pool of J C Penney. According to him, Mr. Tighe’s positions over the past several years showed the importants of developing high potential leaders for the benefit of succession planning.

J C Penney promotes other executives

J C Penney also promoted other executives including James Stark and Angema Swanner. Mr. Stark will serve as senior vice president, general merchandise manager of men’s while Ms. Swanner will serve as senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Sephora.

J C Penney’s senior vice president and senior general merchandise manager, Siiri Dougherty will report to Mr. Tighe. According to the company, Ms. Dougherty will also be responsible for Sephora, in addition to women’s apparel and jcp salon.


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