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JCPenney Names Key Home Posts

Steve Castella has been elevated to vp, product development/design for soft home at JCPenney. Kevin Rooney has joined JCPenney as vp product development/design for hard home.

In these positions they succeed Deb Evans, who left the company in January. Evans had supervised both the soft and hard home sides. The splitting of the position reflects the dramatic expansion of the home design staff and product development activities, said Peter McGrath, executive vp of private brands, product development and sourcing.

Castella joined JCPenney in mid-2002 as senior product development manager in the retailer's window coverings area. He had previously been vp of design for Guilford Home Fashions, which had its name, trademarks, certain inventories and assets sold by its parent company, Guilford Mills, to Homestead Fabrics Ltd. earlier that year.

In late 2004, the rest of JCPenney soft home design oversight was added to Castella's window coverings responsibilities, as he assumed the duties of Katie Erb, who was retiring. He continued to report to Evans, who was then vp, private brands.

Last June, Castella was promoted to director of design for soft home, one element in a major expansion of the product development and design functions by JCPenney, which at the time brought on a number of designers in soft and hard home.

Rooney joins JCPenney from Target, where he spent 10 years, most recently as senior product manager, global sourcing. Earlier he had been with the May Co.

Both Castella and Rooney report to Ken Mangone, vp, director of product development and design.

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