J.C. Penney chief customer officer resigns after nine months

Shawn Gensch had built up his team with new hires with varied experience from Disney, Target, Sprouts Farmers Market and Front Burner Brands.

J.C. Penney’s top executive over marketing has left the Plano-based retailer.

Shawn Gensch, who has been Penney’s chief customer officer since June, resigned this week.

When he was hired, Penney CEO Jill Soltau said he filled “a vital component” of her new team. He was responsible for driving aggressive strategies to grow traffic and improve customer retention while working to revitalize the brand and shape Penney’s message and digital experience.

Penney confirmed his departure without providing details.

Earlier this month, Penney said it hired two more executives to fill out Gensch’s team of four vice presidents. They are over key marketing strategies, including digital. That was an area where Penney fell behind in recent years, and it stopped separating out those results before Soltau came to Penney in October 2018.

Among the executives who reported to Gensch was chief digital officer Karl Walsh, who came to Penney before Christmas with extensive e-commerce experience.

There have been no other departures on the marketing team, the company confirmed.

“The company thanks Shawn for his contributions in developing the plan for renewal and building a strong team of marketing leaders,” Penney said in an emailed response.

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