by Stephen Garner

croppedJCPenney is making some moves in their merchandising department. The company has announced that John Tighe has been promoted to executive vice president, chief merchant effective Oct. 1. Tighe most recently served as senior vice president and senior general merchandise manager for the men’s, children’s, footwear, handbag and intimate apparel divisions. He will succeed Elizabeth “Liz” Sweney who will serve in an advisory role through the end of the fiscal year, at which time she will retire from the company after 16 years of service.

“John is an extraordinary merchant who, in his career, has curated some of the most high-performing brand portfolios in retail, including leading the growth of This broad experience gives him a keen understanding of the retail business, which will be essential to our success as we seize greater opportunities in omnichannel and increased private brand penetration, while positioning JCPenney as the best shopping destination for national brands and in-store attractions,” said JCPenney CEO, Marvin Ellison. “The progress that our company has made would not have been possible without the leadership, dedication and expertise of Liz Sweney. We are thankful for her many contributions and are grateful that she will play a critical role guiding this transition through the balance of the year.”

Tighe began his 24-year retail career at May Department Stores in a series of merchandising roles that spanned more than a decade at Filene’s and Meier & Frank. JCPenney recruited Tighe as a buyer in 2002, and was later promoted to divisional vice president, overseeing various apparel categories such as junior’s sportswear, missy casual and special sizes before leading in 2009 as senior vice president. In 2010, he was appointed senior vice president and general merchandise manager of the company’s home division before transitioning to men’s in 2012.