J.C. Penney names Karl Walsh as senior VP, chief digital officer

today Dec 5, 2019
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J. C. Penney has appointed Karl Walsh as senior vice president, chief digital officer, effective December 2. 

Karl Walsh, J.C. Penney's new senior vice president, chief digital officer. - J.C. Penney

In the role, Walsh will lead strategic advancements of the company’s digital platforms, particularly on jcp.com. He will report to Shawn Gensch, executive vice president, chief customer officer.

Walsh comes to the role with over 18 years of e-commerce experience, most recently serving as chief digital officer at Pandora Jewelry, where he grew the company’s global e-commerce business and increased cross-channel consumer engagement.

Prior to Pandora, he served as associate director of digital and e-commerce for The Boston Consulting Group and served clients in the consumer and retail practices at McKinsey & Company, among other roles.

“We are thrilled to welcome [Walsh] to J.C. Penney as we drive the renewal of our company and showcase our brand strategy through exceptional, seamless experiences for our customers,” said Gensch.

“Nearly 90 percent of shoppers begin their path to purchase online, so [Walsh’s] background of building and executing digital strategies for global brands will help us improve our e-commerce offering and drive traffic across all channels.”

Walsh joins the retailer, as it continues to revive itself post-recession and navigates the rise in online shopping, all the while struggling with billions of dollars of debt.

Now, under chief executive officer Jill Soltau, the company is beginning to see the light of day, reporting a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss in November, as it sold more diamond jewelry and denim clothing.

According to Soltau, the improvement showed efforts to revive sales and profits at the company are taking hold.

As of November, shares of the Plano, Texas-based company were up nearly 7.3% at $1.18, an improvement from August of this year, when J.C. Penney stock traded for under $1

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