J.C. Penney Company Inc. on Tuesday announced that Bill Wafford, a highly accomplished retail executive with over 25 years of broad finance experience, has been named executive vice president, chief financial officer, effective April 8.
Reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer, Wafford will be responsible for providing strategic leadership and driving operational excellence in addition to leading all aspects of the company’s finance and accounting operations. He succeeds Michael Fung, interim chief financial officer, who will remain with the company through the end of April to allow for a seamless leadership transition.
“Bill brings extraordinary depth and breadth of experience to our executive team. His first-hand knowledge and understanding of financial turnarounds will help JCPenney deliver improved results and drive profitable growth,” said Soltau. “Additionally, his extensive career supporting global retail and consumer brand companies will prove instrumental as we continue to strengthen our capabilities, optimize our product selection, and reduce unproductive inventory to effectively meet and exceed shoppers’ expectations.”
Wafford most recently served as executive vice president, chief financial officer for The Vitamin Shoppe where he oversaw all aspects of the company’s finance strategy and execution including accounting, real estate, international operations, mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy, advanced analytics, investor relations, procurement and internal audit functions. During his tenure with The Vitamin Shoppe, he played a significant role in reducing debt, decreasing inventory and improving operating income in 2018. He joined The Vitamin Shoppe in 2017 as senior vice president overseeing strategy, finance, international operations and business development.
Prior to The Vitamin Shoppe, Wafford served as a partner in the advisory practice group of KPMG following a five-year career at Walgreens Boots Alliance. While at Walgreens, he served in positions of increasing responsibility and became vice president of international finance where he was involved in the acquisition of Alliance Boots, which created the world’s largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination. He was subsequently appointed to vice president and managing director for the company’s global venture capital portfolio where he evaluated investment opportunities in digital categories, including online retail and customer loyalty. Before Walgreens, Wafford held multiple finance-related positions with Archstone Consulting, Bank of America and at Target Corporation where he managed the financial planning and analysis for their $8 billion women’s and men’s apparel divisions.
“I am delighted to welcome Bill to our team of highly talented retail experts. Together we will work to make meaningful progress and deliver an engaging and rewarding shopping experience for our customers. I also wish to thank Michael Fung for joining the organization several months ago and providing invaluable expertise as interim CFO while we completed the search for an accomplished successor,” said Soltau.