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.
“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.”