Ron Johnson Out At J.C. Penney

The news sent the company's stock soaring on Monday.

Troubled retailer J.C. Penney's CEO Ron Johnson is being replaced by former CEO Myron Ullman, news that sent the company's stock soaring, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. Johnson, who was hired in 2011 to turn the company around, may have been not been so surprised to pack his desk up: Earlier this month Bill Ackman, the hedge fund manager who picked him to run the company said Johnson had made "big mistakes". Recent legal troubles over Martha Stewart's brand, falling sales and a $1 billion operating loss last year has also left the retailer's stock price sinking.

Johnson, a former Apple executive, told Fast Company in 2012 that he wanted to transform the 110-year-old retailer into a merchant prince, again.

"Our number-one competitor is ourselves. It's our ability to change. And the way you unlock potential is to find a new way to compete, ideally in a way that's never been done before, so it's seen as new. For decades, department stores were organized to have a center core of cosmetics, jewelry, and women's handbags. We're going to have something new called Town Square. It's a series of 80 to 100 shops. Department stores have been limited intellectually by their traditional categories of home and apparel. We can put in whatever shops we want. It liberates you to do what's relevant to people in their lives," he said. "Our number-two competitor is everyone else."

[Image: Flickr user stevendamron]

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  • Kurt

    I was a huge fan of the new JCP and their no price gimmicks policy.  I even stopped going to other retailers.  It was a huge advantage to walk into the store and see the clothes you want at a fair price without having to dig through piles of unwanted "clearance" stock.

  • Scott Doty

    Such a shame he was not able to have more time to execute this vision for the company. Long term JCP needs to get younger shoppers excited about shopping there and Ron was in the process of making this happen. 

  • Jim

    I have been intrigued with what Ron has been doing with the JCP brand over the past year.  So much so, that I finally set foot in a store for the first time in at least 15 years - and walked out with two shirts that recieved fashion forward approval from my wife. 

    Too bad Wall Street is too impatient to wait for fruit to bear...