The Chase for Castagna: Ex-Penney's Executive Said to Be in Kmart Talks

Financier-turned-retailer Eddie Lampert is trying to lure Vanessa Castagna into his realm.

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Considered a talented merchant with the right combination of merchandising and operational skills, and one who is a team-builder, Castagna has vast experience on the apparel side. As senior vice president and general merchandise manager for women’s, she ran the apparel business at Wal-Mart, giving it a more focused presentation. Castagna also helped revive the apparel operation at Penney’s.

Prior to Wal-Mart, Castagna was a gmm at Target and also held posts at Federated Department Stores.

— With Contributions from David Moin and Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Vanessa Castagna’s Résumé

Aug. 1999-Nov. 2004: Executive vice president and chief operating officer of J.C. Penney stores division, merchandising and catalogue.

1996 to Aug. 1999: Senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s and juniors’ apparel, intimate apparel and accessories and children’s apparel at Wal-Mart.

1994 to 1996: Senior vice president and general merchandising manager for home decor, domestics, furniture, crafts and children’s apparel at Wal-Mart.

1992 to 1994: Held several senior-level positions, including senior vice president, general merchandising manager for women’s and juniors at Marshalls stores.

1985 to 1992: Vice president of merchandising for women’s at Target.

1972: Began career at Lazarus, a division of Federated Department Stores. Held positions of senior vice president and general merchandise manager.

1971: Graduated from Purdue University with a degree in psychology and speech education.

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