Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts has announced that Jill Soltau will be taking over as CEO effective March 2nd. Jim Kerr, the company’s CFO, had been serving as interim CEO since the sudden departure of CEO Travis Smith last August for undisclosed reasons. Jo-Ann’s is owned by private equity company Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.
Soltau is the former CEO of Shopko, having also spent time at Sears, Kohl’s and Carson Pirie Scott during her 25 year career in retail. She had been with Shopko since 2007.
“We are excited to partner with Jill as we continue to build upon Jo-Ann’s leading position in the fabric and craft industry. Jill’s passion, strategic vision and proven success make her an excellent leader for the company going forward,” said Todd Purdy, Partner, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.
“For over 70 years, Jo-Ann has been inspiring the creativity in others and I am thrilled to join the team to help drive the brand’s future success,” said Ms. Soltau. “Jo-Ann is an industry leader that has exciting opportunities to achieve even greater long-term potential. I look forward to working with the talented management team and dedicated associates to bolster Jo-Ann’s market position and create further enthusiasm for the Jo-Ann brand.”