J.C. Penney said Tuesday that Jill Soltau, the former CEO of Joann Stores, will take the helm of the struggling department store chain, sending shares up more than 10 percent in extended trading.
Soltau will fill the position Oct. 15 and will also become a member of the retailer's board of directors. The news comes after the departure of Marvin Ellison, who now serves as CEO of home improvement retailer Lowe's. Penney has been searching for Ellison's replacement since he abruptly announced his exit in May. The department store chain also lost its CFO, Jeffrey Davis, earlier this week.
Penney's shares rose more than 10 percent in after-hours trading to $1.73.
While the department store sector in the U.S. is under increasing pressure as shoppers' purchases shift online, Penney has struggled more than some of its peers, including Macy's and Nordstrom. In the latest quarter ended Aug. 4, Penney lowered its outlook for the full year, as it continued to grapple with an overhang of too much inventory.
The hope, now, is that Soltau will be able to help turn things around.
"Jill stood out from the start among an incredibly strong slate of candidates," Paul Brown, Penney board director and chairman of the CEO search committee, said in prepared remarks.