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Former Penney Exec to Lead Mervyn’s

Dallas, Former J.C. Penney Co. executive Vanessa Castagna has joined private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, the New York-based company that is part of the investment group that acquired Mervyn’s Department Stores from Target Corp. last year. As a senior member of the Cerberus operations team, Castagna will take the helm of the Mervyn’s chain and will be charged with engineering the same turnaround for Mervyn’s as she did with J.C. Penney.

Castagna resigned from Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney last November when she was passed over for the top job in the company in favor of Mike Ullman, who replaced retiring CEO and chairman Allen Questrom.

Castagna was credited with helping turn J.C. Penney around by bringing in new brands and leading marketing campaigns that helped the chain win back customers from rival chains.

Castagna has held senior executive positions with Wal-Mart Stores, Target Corp. and Federated Department Stores.

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