J.C. Penney's Largest Shareholder Resigns From The Board Amid Conflict

His resignation is a speedy end to a petty public conflict that served only to distract the retailer from the business at hand: winning back customers.

If you're a struggling retail giant so desperate for customers that you've resorted to begging for them, the last thing you want is to appear scattered, conflicted, and petty. But that's exactly how J.C. Penney looked last week after a dispute broke out between its largest shareholder, hedgefund manager William Ackman, and the company's CEO, Mike Ullman, following a scathing letter from Ackman calling for Ullman's ouster.

This morning, J.C. Penney announced Ackman's resignation from the board. "At this time, I believe that the addition of two new directors and my stepping down from the board is the most constructive way forward for J.C. Penney and all other parties involved," Ackman said in a statement.

The resignation was a quick resolution to a conflict that served only to distract J.C. Penney from getting itself back on track. The company has had a rough year, and faces a bit of an identify crisis, with billions in lost revenue and a stock in free-fall.

For now, Ullman is out of the hotseat, but the search for a new CEO will likely continue.

[Image: Flickr user Sam Howzit]

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  • revamadison

    JC Penny jerked its own chain many years ago, when they stopped selling items that men would be interested in.  Tools went, so did the auto repair shops and parts departments.  Friges, stoves, freezers, were gone.  What in the world would a guy go in there for?  Clothes?  No.  Men simply do not buy that many clothes and underwear and socks are a lot less expensive, and there are more selections across the street at WalMart.  Then JCP , at the same time all this was going on, closed their small town catalog stores - because they also did away with their catalogs.  Another loss of male customers.  Then , the most recent "smart" move was to do away with dozens if not hundreds of stores. Our local store, with a death wish from the big bosses, closed.  They said it was to make more profits.  Hmmmm?  How do you close stores, which are making at least a few bucks, an expect larger profits?  Beyond me, but then I dont have a Master degree from Wharton.  Im just a shopper, who knows what they want, and Pennys was no longer supplying our family needs.