January 21, 2013, 4:10 PM

Retail chain Shopko gets a new president

Jill Soltau will oversee e-commerce, merchandising, marketing and inventory.

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Jill Soltau

Shopko Stores Operating Co., a general merchandise retailer that operates nearly 350 stores and the e-commerce site Shopko.com, has promoted executive vice president Jill Soltau to president. She reports to interim CEO Mike Bettiga.

Soltau, who had been executive vice president and chief merchandising officer since 2009, will retain her merchandising duties while taking on the additional responsibilities of overseeing the e-commerce, marketing, inventory management and supply chain departments. By giving Soltau responsibility for these areas, Shopko expects her to be better positioned to develop and implement a merchandising strategy across the company’s multiple retail formats under the Shopko and Shopko Hometown brands, and the e-commerce site Shopko.com, the retailer says.

“Since joining Shopko, Jill has led the creation of Shopko’s highly successful main store merchandising strategy and has been instrumental in the development of the company’s growth vehicle, Shopko Hometown,” Bettiga says. “Her promotion to president ensures that our merchandising and marketing strategies, as well as our business goals, are kept in the forefront and will continue to be successfully executed.”

As president, Soltau fills a position that had been vacant since last fall, when Paul Jones resigned as president and CEO to pursue other interests. When Jones left, Shopko named Bettiga interim CEO; the company is still searching for a permanent top executive, a spokeswoman says.

Soltau, a 25-year veteran of retailing, joined Shopko in 2007 as senior vice president and general merchandise manager of apparel and accessories. Prior to Shopko, she worked in several senior management positions in merchandising, planning and private-label brands at Sears Holdings Corp. and Kohl’s Corp. She started her career at Carson Pirie Scott, now part of Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

Green Bay, WI-based Shopko, which is owned by investment firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., acquired the Pamida retail chain early last year and put the the Shopko Hometown brand on Pamida’s nearly 200 stores. The combined company operates stores throughout the Midwest and Northwest. Pamida did not operate an e-commerce site.

Shopko is No. 584 in the Internet Retailer Second 500. Sears is No. 8 in the Internet Retailer Top 500; Kohl’s No. 28.

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