Business, Economics and Jobs

J.C. Penney shares slump after CEO swap


This picture taken on February 28, 2013, shows a J.C. Penney store in Daly City, California.


Justin Sullivan

Shares in J.C. Penney plunged more than 10 percent Tuesday, a day after the struggling retailer announced it would swap CEO Ron Johnson for his predecessor.

The back to the future move on Monday came amid slumping sales and a falling share price.

Myron Ullman, who was CEO from 2004 to 2011, before being replaced by Johnson, will take up his old job immediately, J.C. Penney said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Johnson, a former Apple executive, had tried to revamp the retail chain from “staid retail dinosaur into a fashion-forward, hipper brand” during his 17 months at the helm. 

But his controversial decision to scrap sales and coupons – mainstays of J.C. Penney – in favor of an every day low-price strategy had alienated many customers.

That move, combined with a boom in online retailing and a court battle with Macy's, helped push the company into the red.

J.C. Penney lost nearly $1 billion in 2012 on $13 billion in sales, and shed more than half its market value in the last year as Johnson faced skepticism on Wall Street. 


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