- Stop&Shop and Starbucks alum Stephanie Plaines is taking on the CFO seat for retailer JCPenney effective immediately, the company announced in a Thursday press release. Plaines most recently served as CFO for global real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) before joining the retailer’s executive team.
- The company has redoubled its focus on omnichannel and digital strategy following its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with JCPenney pointing to Plaines’ data experience as a key asset to improving business performance and profitability within the company’s Thursday announcement.
- “Stephanie brings more than 20 years of high-performance strategic and financial leadership with best-in-class global retailers,” JCPenney CEO Marc Rosen said in a statement. “Her deep strengths in data-forward financial management and track record of value creation will make her an invaluable advisor throughout the business as we develop new digital and technology capabilities to advance our transformation agenda.”
As well as serving as JCPenney’s newest financial head, Plaines serves as a member of the board of directors and member of the audit committees for the Clorox Company as well as media and market measurement firm Nielson, according to her LinkedIn. She has also held previous CFO roles at coffee chain Starbucks — where she acted as CFO, U.S. Retail — as well as Walmart and acted as CFO for Stop&Shop for food retail group Ahold Delhaize.
As CFO, SamsClub.com for Walmart, Plaines also presided over finance for Walmart.com while the company completed its $3 billion acquisition of competing online retailer Jet.com in September 2016. The company discontinued the Jet.com brand in May 2020.
Plaines is the latest in a series of executives joining the retailer’s C-Suite, with JCPenney appointing John Aylward as its chief marketing officer in May, effective June 6, to help advance its omnichannel strategy. Gap veteran Sharmeelee Bala also joined the company as its chief information officer (CIO) while Neiman Marcus alum Katie Mullen became its chief digital and transformation officer in January.
Following the departure of previous chief executive Jill Soltau in December 2020, Rosen took on the role in November 2021. Stanley Shashoua, chief investment officer for Simon Property Group, stood in as interim CEO prior to Rosen’s appointment.
Soltau was brought on in 2018 in an attempt to revitalize the ailing brand, which was struggling with $4 billion in debt and whose operations were heavily impacted by the early pandemic, per a December 2020 report by CNN. JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2020. It completed the sale of its retail and operating assets to Penney OpCo LLC — a private entity — on Dec. 7 of that year. The LLC is controlled by Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management, and is operating as JCPenney. The firm’s Plan of Restructuring was approved Jan. 30, 2021.
JCPenney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.