Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

J.C. Penney’s CFO Steps Down

  • Move leaves opening at company during industrywide sales slump
  • CEO says latest quarter should show signs of improvement

J. C. Penney Co., already grappling with sluggish sales and an effort to close underperforming stores, is losing its chief financial officer.

Edward Record, who had served as CFO since March 2014, will leave the company on Tuesday to “pursue other interests,” J.C. Penney said. He will remain an adviser until Aug. 7 to help with the transition, with his duties being passed on an interim basis to the retailer’s accounting chief.

Edward Record

Source: J.C. Penney Co.

The shake-up leaves an opening in J.C. Penney’s top management ranks at a time when it’s grappling with an industrywide slump. The company’s same-store sales slid 3.5 percent in the most recently reported quarter, worse than the 0.7 percent drop predicted by analysts.

The department-store chain has been trying to stand out from competitors by reducing its reliance on fashion and apparel. J.C. Penney is adding high-price items like appliances, expanding its partnership with beauty company Sephora and focusing on services like salons to draw more shoppers into stores. Still, progress has been slow and the retailer has had to cut costs, including announcing plans in February to scale back its store fleet and save about $200 million a year.

Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison said on Monday that sales have shown improvement in the second quarter.

“We continue to expect to report significantly improved top-line results this quarter versus the first quarter,” he said. The Plano, Texas-based company plans to deliver its latest results on Aug. 11.

Andrew Drexler, who serves as chief accounting officer and controller, will be taking the role of interim finance chief.

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