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Leto to direct Mervyns upon departure of Castagna

Hayward, Calif. – Vanessa Castagna will resign from her post of executive chairwoman of the board of directors of promotional department store chain Mervyns, effective Feb. 1, the company said. Castagna was hired by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management in April 2005, after it acquired Mervyns from Target in 2004. She had previously been chairwoman and ceo of JCPenney Stores, Catalog and Internet.

Rick Leto, currently president and chief merchandising officer, will take over management of day-to-day operations of the 172-store retailer.

Leto joined Mervyns in January 2005. He had been president and cmo at sporting goods specialty retailer Gaylan’s Trading Co., and prior to that worked at Kohl’s from 1996 to 2004, with his last post executive vp and gmm.

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