Jill Soltau

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Jill Soltau (born 1967) is the current Chief Execitive Officer of JCPenney. She was previously CEO of Jo-Ann Fabrics.[1]


A native of Viroqua, Wisconsin,[2] Soltau is a 1989 graduate of University of Wisconsin–Stout’s retail merchandising and management undergraduate program.[3]


Jill Soltau started her career at Carson Pirie Scott before moving into senior level positions at Sears and Kohl's. In 2007 joined Shopko where she serving in various roles before becoming president of the company in 2013.[4][5][6]

Soltau became CEO and president of Jo-Ann Fabrics on March 2, 2015.[7] As CEO, she opposed President Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods and testified in front of the administration in opposition due to American manufaturers not being able to meet Jo-Ann's quality or volume needs.[8]

On October 15, 2018, Soltau began as CEO[9] and a member of the board of JCPenny following Marvin Ellison's departure and the decline of the struggling company.[7][10] She is the 25th woman currently leading a Fortune 500 company and Penney's fifth chief executive in the past decade and first woman executive.[11][10] Under her leadership in 2019, the company is scheduled to close dozens of stores after shifting its focus to home goods and women’s clothes.[12]


  1. ^ "JCPenney taps Jill Soltau for top job ending months-long search for CEO". Financial Times. October 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "New CEO of J.C. Penney is UW-Stout graduate". Leader-Telegram. October 4, 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  3. ^ Poling, Jerry. "New CEO of J.C. Penney is retail management alumna". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Who is Jill Soltau? Profiling the first female CEO of JCPenney". Compelo - latest news, features and insight on influencers and innovators within business. 2018-10-04. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  5. ^ "JCPenney Welcomes Jill Soltau as Chief Executive Officer". J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  6. ^ "Leadership". J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  7. ^ a b Loeb, Walter (October 3, 2018). "Jill Soltau Is A Winning Choice As The New CEO Of JC Penney". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Yarn and Fabric Stay on Trump's Tariff List Despite Crafters' Pleas". 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  9. ^ Armental, Maria (October 2, 2018). "J.C. Penney Taps Former Joann Stores CEO as Next Leader". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b "J.C. Penney Names Jill Soltau of Joann Stores as Chief Executive". 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  11. ^ Meyersohn, Nathaniel (October 2, 2018). "JCPenney names Jill Soltau as its new CEO". Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  12. ^ "How JCPenney's New CEO Made $16.7 Million After Just 3 Months on the Job". Observer. 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2019-04-25.