More executive changes at JCPenney

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) has made a series of changes around its executive team, including the retirement of Ken Mangone, exec-VP of product development design and sourcing, who will retire effective April 1.

Val Harris, former VP of product development, has been promoted to senior VP, product development and design. In this new role, Harris will oversee the company's team of more than 200 textile, technical and fashion designers based in New York City and Plano, Texas, who translate trends and develop seasonal collections for its private brands. Harris will report to John Tighe, exec-VP and chief merchant. Mangone will serve in an advisory role to assist with the transition.

"Val is a trusted and highly respected member of the JCPenney team who, in her over 30 years at the company, has driven the product development and trend directions of many of our class-leading private and exclusive brands," said CEO Marvin Ellison. "We are confident Val's experience will allow us to continue delivering unmatched style, quality and value—a high standard maintained by Ken Mangone in his many years of honorable service to the company."

Mangone was a longtime JCPenney executive who returned to the chain as part of former CEO Mike Ullman's team to rebuild the retailer after Ron Johnson's failed attempt at transformation.

Additionally, Mike Robbins, senior VP, supply chain, has gained responsibility over JCPenney's sourcing organization, which includes a network of international buying offices, quality control functions, social compliance teams and other global operations.

The changes are intended to "enhance its organizational structure and promote collaboration in support of the company's leading private brand portfolio," according to a company statement.

The retailer has made store brands a priority, bringing back popular discontinued brands and launching several new ones to appeal to younger shoppers. There are new brands such as a menswear line by former NFL football player Michael Strahan, the Belle + Sky fast fashion label, and children's clothing featuring Disney characters by Okie Dokie. The retailer also continues to grow its classic store brands, including St. John's Bay and Liz Claiborne.

For more:
-See this JCPenney announcement
-See this Dallas Morning News story

Related stories:
JCPenney gives millennials more, redesigns the center store
JCPenney to sell appliances
JCPenney's strategic plan to remodel some stores, close others
JCPenney sales rise 4% despite holiday warm weather
JCPenney CEO talks turnaround, looks to data to boost revenue

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