Chief Executive Officer
Jill Soltau is Chief Executive Officer of J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Soltau joined the Company as CEO and became a member of the Board of Directors in October 2018. One of the nation’s largest apparel and home retailers, JCPenney employs more than 98,000 associates globally and operates over 860 stores and logistics facilities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, generating $12.5 billion in annual sales revenue.
Soltau has 30 years of experience in the retail industry, previously serving as President and CEO of JOANN Stores, a specialty retailer that offers fabrics and crafting supplies in over 850 stores in 49 states. A highly accomplished retail merchant and former general merchandise manager, she was brought to JOANN Stores in 2015, charged with reinvigorating the brand and bolstering its market position through a consumer-centric approach that offered compelling assortments, helpful advice and memorable experiences to be digitally shared with others. Under her leadership, the company revitalized its branding, expanded its digital and omnichannel capabilities and forged strategic partnerships to build meaningful relationships with its customers.
Prior to her role at JOANN Stores, Soltau spent eight years at Shopko, leading the company as President after serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer. She joined Shopko Stores in 2007 and earned various executive positions of increasing responsibility including Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager over apparel and accessories. Prior to her tenure at Shopko, Soltau held several senior level positions in merchandising, planning and private brand management at Sears and Kohl’s, after starting her career with Carson Pirie Scott, which was later acquired by Saks Inc.
She was honored with the Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service in 2017, recognizing her efforts to assist communities in need of assistance in the areas of education, health and support for service members and their families. A Girl Scout alumna, Soltau is passionate about fostering innovation and growth among future generations of female leaders. She is also a member of 4-H Luminaries, a distinguished alumni group that helps raise awareness and generate support for life-changing 4 H programs.
Soltau currently serves on the Board of Directors for AutoZone. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a Bachelor of Science degree in retail and business.