July 19, 2011, 2:40 PM

Penney makes the transition to a new chief marketer

The retailer makes a changing of the guard for the top marketing job.

Lead Photo

Retired Penney CMO Mike Boylson

Mike Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Penney, No. 20 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has retired. While the company looks for a full-time replacement, the role of chief marketing officer will be filled by Bill Gentner, senior vice president of marketing planning and promotions, says Penney.

Boylson was named an executive vice president and chief marketing officer in 2003. In recent years Boylson was in charge of all marketing and new brand positioning for Penney, including an aggressive push into social media. He began his career with Penney in 1978.

In addition to working as interim chief marketing officer, Gentner will continue to oversee marketing planning and promotions, which includes all preprint, direct mail, credit marketing, e-mail and welcome page efforts for Penney. He joined Penney in June 2007 after working as a division manager for Macy’s and in merchandising roles at Express and Hecht’s department stores.

The transition to a new top marketing executive takes place at the same time Penney is getting ready for a new CEO. On June 14, Penney named Ron Johnson, Apple Inc.’s senior vice president of retail, as CEO to replace Myron Ullman, who remains as executive chairman. When Johnson joins Penney on Nov. 1, he will report to Ullman. But effective Aug. 1 Johnson joins the Penney board of directors.

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