J.C. Penney Co. says it has tapped a Kraft Foods executive as its new marketing chief to help revitalize the struggling brand and reconnect with its shoppers.

The Plano, Texas-based chain said Monday it named Debra Berman as senior vice president of marketing, effective last Friday. She will join the company's executive board and report directly to CEO Mike Ullman III.

Ullman returned to Penney's helm in April after the board fired former CEO Ron Johnson. Johnson spearheaded a transformation plan that led to plummeting sales and massive losses. Ullman has been assembling a new management team to help improve Penney's fortunes.

Berman served as vice president, marketing strategy and directed global brand strategy for all Kraft-owned brands.

[Associated Press]