J.C. Penney named Bill Wafford as the company’s new executive vice president and chief financial officer, starting April 8.

Wafford most recently served as executive vice president and CFO for The Vitamin Shoppe, where he played a significant role in reducing debt, decreasing inventory, and improving operating income in 2018. He joined the retailer in 2017.

Bill Wafford

Prior to The Vitamin Shoppe, Wafford was a partner in the advisory practice group of KPMG following a five-year career at Walgreens Boots Alliance. Earlier in his career, he held finance-related jobs at Archstone Consulting, Bank of America, and Target.

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“Bill brings extraordinary depth and breadth of experience to our executive team,” said CEO Jill Soltau, who joined J.C. Penney in October 2018 from Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Stores. “His first-hand knowledge and understanding of financial turnarounds will help J.C. Penney deliver improved results and drive profitable growth.”

Soltau also pointed to Wafford’s “extensive career” supporting global retail and consumer brand companies. She said those skills will prove instrumental as J.C. Penney continues to strengthen its capabilities, optimize product selection, and reduce unproductive inventory “to effectively meet and exceed shoppers’ expectations.”

Wafford succeeds interim chief financial officer Michael Fung who will remain with the company through the end of April.

JCPenney plans to close 27 stores this year in 13 states. They include 18 full-line department stores and nine home and furniture stores.

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