J.C. Penney Fires Chief Operating Officer

U.S. department store operator J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) said Thursday it fired its chief operating officer, Catherine West, after about six months on the job, sending its shares down 1 percent.

West, who was named executive vice president and COO in June, previously worked for Capital One Financial Corp. (COF), where she was most recently president of its U.S. card business. Her termination was effective immediately, J.C. Penney said in a brief statement.

The store operations, property development, and logistics departments, which were reporting to West, will now report to Myron "Mike" Ullman, Penney's chairman and chief executive, the company said.

The Plano, Texas-based company, which operates more than 1,000 stores, did not provide further details and spokeswoman Darcie Brossart said she could not comment on the reason for West's firing.

Brossart said West had a severance agreement with J.C. Penney and the retailer intended to honor the terms.

West could not immediately be reached for comment.