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J.C. Penney eliminates key exec role

J.C. Penney Co. is losing one of its veteran executives.

Penney announced that its chief merchant, John Tighe, is leaving the company, and that he will not be replaced. In a statement, Penney said Tighe's departure is part of a company reorganization designed to "streamline decision-making and promote greater agility within its merchandise buying teams."

"Today's executive realignment reflects a growing need to ensure our company remains nimble and flexible amid the constant change and transformation in the retail environment," said Ellison. "I have the utmost confidence in our executive leaders who will continue to drive efficiency across their respective divisions, and will be empowered to make dynamic buying decisions based on real-time customer data. This simplified structure offers greater flexibility, which is critical to ensuring our assortment remains fresh and relevant, and compels more shoppers to choose JCPenney."

Tighe joined Penney in 2002 from May Department Stores. He has been chief merchant and executive VP at Penney since 2015. His departure comes as the chain has struggling, particularly across its apparel divisions. Going forward, the heads of Penney's merchandise divisions will report to Penney chairman and CEO Marvin Ellison.

Last week, Penney cut its 2017 profit forecast and also said it expects a loss of 40 to 45 cents per share in the third quarter as a result of heavy discounting to get rid of excess inventory, primarily in womne's apparel, pre-holiday.

"With a sharper and more disciplined focus on inventory management, we are taking a comprehensive approach to assessing the effectiveness of our inventory positions to make swift, informed decisions that promote faster inventory turn and higher productivity levels," Ellison said in a statement at the time. "Therefore, in the third quarter, we took the necessary steps to accelerate inventory liquidation primarily across all apparel divisions, which increases available funding to invest in new and trending merchandise categories."

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