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Penney losing key executive to Hershey


The chief marketing officer of J.C. Penney is leaving the company after two years on the job.

Mary Beth West is leaving the department store retailer on March 31 to become senior VP and chief growth officer of the Hershey Co. She will join Hershey on May 1.

West joined Penney in April 2015 after serving on the company’s board of directors for 10 years.

Prior to Penney, she spent 20 years at Mondelez International (previously Kraft Foods), including roles as its chief category & marketing officer and president of both its North American beverage and grocery businesses.

A search is underway for West's successor. In the interim, day-to-day marketing responsibilities will be overseen by Kirk Waidelich, senior VP-sales promotion and marketing, and Sheeba Philip, VP-marketing strategy and communications, according to AdAge.

West helped debut Penney’s campaign and tagline, "Get Your Penney's Worth" last spring, the report said. The chain updated the campaign for this year, adding a new line, "Priced to Buy, Guaranteed to Love."

“Mary Beth played an instrumental role in the company's return to profitability and was a key asset to the leadership team," Penney said in a statement. "However, she has decided to relocate to the Northeast where she and her family will be closer to relatives and she can pursue a new opportunity with one of the world's most iconic food brands. J.C. Penney is grateful for her dedication and service, and we wish her well in all future endeavors."
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