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Charlie Chinni Checks Out

Charles Chinni, JCPenney's executive vice president, home and leisure, women's accessories and family footwear, will retire on Feb. 2, 2007, wrapping up a 40-year career in retailing.

Until his retirement he will assume the position of special advisor to Ken Hicks, president and chief merchandise officer, and will serve as a consultant to Hicks for a period of time after his retirement.

Jeffrey Allison, formerly executive vice president, planning and allocation, succeeded Chinni on Dec. 1 as executive vice president, and general merchandise manager for home and custom decorating.

Discussing Chinni's career with Penney that began in 2001, Hicks said "Charlie's prestigious retail career is marked by solid leadership contributions, including his tenure with JCPenney. Charlie championed the expansion of the JCPenney Home Collection into one of the nation's largest home brands, which now includes our exclusive partnership with leading designer Chris Madden and our new modern furnishings offerings, Studio by JCPenney Home Collection."

Hicks added, "Under Charlie's leadership, women's accessories and family footwear continue to be among our strongest merchandise categories."

Mike Ullman, Penney chairman and ceo, noted "Over the course of his career, Charlie has developed a well-deserved reputation as a superb and uniquely talented merchant. The current success of our home division, in particular, is direct evidence of Charlie's extensive knowledge and passion for this business, coupled with the leadership of the home team. We appreciate the many contributions he has made to our organization and wish him all the best in the years to come."

Chinni began his career with Macy's, where he held a number of positions and ultimately became president of merchandising. In 1995 he was named executive vice president of merchandising at Kmart, and in 1997 he became chairman and ceo of Stroud's, the now-defunct home specialty chain.

Allison joined JCPenney in March 2000 as senior vice president, planning and allocation. He was promoted to executive vice president in 2005. He joined Penney from Express, Inc., a division of The Limited, where he was vice president of finance since 1990. He began his career with Exxon Corp.

Hicks noted: "Jeff's contribution to the recent success of JCPenney is noteworthy. He has been personally instrumental in building the planning and allocation organization from its inception to becoming best in class in support of our merchandising efforts. Jeff has worked closely with the merchandising team since his arrival at JCPenney and will be a strong leader of the home merchandise team. We are confident that Jeff will continue to grow and develop the home and custom decorating businesses."

Over the years, Chinni was the recipient of many awards, both internally at Penney and from industry groups. In 2005, he won the Chariman's Award for managerial excellence during the previous year. Among his other awards was Industry Leader of the Year in 2004 from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and the Paradigm Award in 2002 presented by the Home Fashion Products Association.

Clarence Kelley, vice president of planning and allocation for Penney since 2001, succeeds Allison. Both Allison and Kelley report to Hicks.

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