JC Penney tips Gap, Neiman Marcus Tech Executives

JC Penney Co. Inc. supports ongoing efforts to drive technology innovation by appointing two retail industry veterans.

The department store dealer has named Sharmeelee Bala and Katie Mullen in C-level, technology and digital related positions. Bala has been named CIO with responsibility for the IT organization and global technology systems that support the company’s stores, operations centers, supply chain, and corporate functions.

Bala will lead the development of solutions to combine JC Penney’s physical assets with its digital footprint. She joins the company from Gap Inc., where she has held management positions since 2018, most recently as Head of Product Development. Bala also spent 20 years at Walmart in a variety of technology and leadership roles of increasing responsibility. She earned a Masters Degree in Engineering Technology from BITS Pilani in India.

Mullen will become JC Penney’s Chief Digital and Transformation Officer (CDO). Mullen will lead the growth of the ecommerce business, including jcp.com. She will also be responsible for developing the company’s corporate strategy and transformation agenda.

Mullen last worked for the Neiman Marcus Group for almost three years, first as Chief Transformation Officer and then as Chief Digital Officer. Previously, she was a partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

The retailer is bringing these seasoned executives on board to enhance their digital shopping experience. JC Penney was recently appointed intelligent predictive technology to better understand what helps buyers make purchasing decisions. The company uses Metrical’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to drive the transformation of e-commerce and improve the online customer experience.

Since deploying the Metrical Predictive AI platform, Penney has seen a 40 percent increase in new shopping cart creation, an 18 percent reduction in cart abandonment, and a 10 percent increase in sales from targeted visits.

JC Penney also recently built on existing Buy-Online-Pickup-in-Store (BOPIS) and Pick up at the roadside by partnering with the on-demand delivery platform DoorDash to offer same-day delivery of selected online orders. The retailer delivers beauty and salon items in selected markets as well as housewares from more than 600 stores via DoorDash. Shoppers can browse and order beauty and salon items such as makeup, skin care, fragrances, styling tools, and hair care products; and housewares for same-day delivery for orders placed up to one hour before closing time using the DoorDash mobile app or e-commerce site.

“With a strong track record and unique products and services backed by our iconic American brand, JC Penney is a destination for top talent like Sharmeelee and Katie,” said Marc Rosen, CEO of JC Penney. “Sharmeelee and Katie will be invaluable partners as we advance our digital journey and transform business through technology and innovation.”

JC Penney operates more than 650 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico as well as the company’s flagship store, jcp.com.

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