J.Jill names retail vet as CEO

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J.Jill names retail vet as CEO

By Marianne Wilson - 10/07/2020
 Claire Spofford
Claire Spofford

It’s a homecoming of sorts for the newly named chief executive of J.Jill. 

The women’s apparel retailer has appointed Claire Spofford as CEO, effective no later than February 15. She will also become a member of the board. Jim Scully, who was named interim CEO of J. Jill in December following the abrupt departure of Linda Heasley, will remain in the role to ensure a smooth transition of the role. 

Most recently, Spofford served as president of Cornerstone Brands (a division of Qurate Retail Group), overseeing four brands: Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill and Grandin Road. Prior to that, Spofford served as president of Garnet Hill, one of Qurate’s lifestyle brands. 

Previously, Spofford was senior VP and chief marketing officer at J.Jill. She held numerous leadership roles at Orchard Brands including interim president and CEO. Prior to Orchard Brands, Spofford served as VP, global marketing of Timberland.

J.Jill is coming off a turbulent seven months. In September, the company completed a transaction that kept it out of bankruptcy court. 

“After an extensive period of successfully navigating through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and a strategic restructuring of the business, J.Jill has emerged stronger both operationally and financially to continue to execute on our initiatives and capitalize on the growth opportunities ahead,” said Michael Rahamim, chairman. “As we enter this next phase, we are excited to welcome Claire back to the J.Jill organization. Claire’s extensive experience driving growth and profitability at respected retail companies coupled with her knowledge of our customer and brand make her the ideal candidate to lead the business forward. We look forward to building upon the legacy of this great brand.”

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