J.C. Penney ousts CEO for previous leader
J.C. Penney Co. ousted Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson and reinstated his predecessor, Myron E. Ullman III, as the department store chain works to rebound from its worst sales year in more than two decades.
The changes are effective immediately, the Plano, Texas-based company said on Monday in a statement. Ullman and J.C. Penney have yet to enter into an employment agreement, the company said in a separate filing.
The departure occurs at the end of a dismal first year on the job for Johnson, who arrived at J.C. Penney with great fanfare related to helping establish Apple Inc.'s network of stores. Johnson has been trying to transform most of J.C. Penney's locations into collections of boutiques and removing sales and coupons in favor of everyday low prices.
“He tried to change way too many things at the same time, ranging from management to the pricing structure to the shop-in-shop concept,” Howard Gross, managing director of the retail and fashion practice at executive search firm Boyden in New York, said. “All those things, even if done individually, would have been significant, but to hoist all those changes on the organization in one fell swoop was way too many changes at the same time.”
Sales in the year ended Feb. 2 plunged 25 percent to $13 billion, the lowest since at least 1987. Ullman, 66, served as J.C. Penney's chairman and CEO for about seven years before Johnson, 54, took over.
Shares dropped 50 percent from Nov. 1, 2011, the day Johnson started, through the close of trading on Monday.
J.C. Penney's shop-in-shops, installed in fewer than 700 of its 1,100 stores, are part of an effort to turn the company into what Johnson has called a “specialty department store.” Johnson had said his transformation of the company, presented to investors in January 2012, would take four years.
Last year, he said the shops, including boutiques for Levi Strauss & Co. and Izod, were producing higher sales per square foot.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sears leaving Century III after 3 decades in West Mifflin
- Finleyville maker of luxury kids’ structures learns from housing bust
- Coal gathering opens with dour assessment, political vitriol
- Hospitals turn to technology to tear down language barriers with patients
- Balancing gas pipeline expansion, environmental unease a problem in Pa.
- Existing home sales fall in August, snapping streak of gains
- Microsoft to pay $2.5B for ‘Minecraft’ maker
- Treasury plans steps to curb tax inversions
- More companies embrace exchanges to curb health care costs
- Symposiums to spotlight Pittsburgh’s role as an energy powerhouse
- Stocks slip on China growth jitters