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JC Penney CFO steps down in chain's latest C-suite departure

[NEW YORK] JC Penney Co's chief financial officer Jeffrey Davis is resigning to take a new job as the department-store chain struggles to turn around its flagging performance. Mr Davis, who assumed the position in July 2017, will leave as of Oct 1 to pursue an opportunity elsewhere. Jerry Murray, senior vice-president of finance, will assume the role on an interim basis.

Before joining JC Penney, Mr Murray, 49, held financial roles at companies including Walmart Inc, Honeywell International and General Motors.

The timing of the departure is difficult for JC Penney - the retailer is still trying to fill its vacant chief executive officer role, which has been empty since Marvin Ellison departed in May for the top position at Lowe's Cos. Mr Ellison had been CEO since 2015.

A formal search for a permanent replacement will take place. The new CFO will take over at a tough time. JC Penney saw its stock plunge to historic lows last month after reporting disappointing performance, including putting more items on clearance to get rid of excess inventory.

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JC Penney has continued to struggle while competitors such as Nordstrom Inc and Macy's Inc have seen varying degrees of stabilisation after a lengthy period of declines. Investors have punished the stock of companies that have failed to take advantage of a healthy consumer confidence in the US.