Main | Tuesday, April 09, 2013

JC Penney CEO Steps Down

Yesterday JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson stepped down after the company's stock value plummeted by 50% during his 18-month tenure.  Anti-gay groups are cheering the news as proof that the public had rejected his hiring of Ellen Degeneres as their celebrity spokesperson.
Johnson tried nixing sale events in favor of everyday low prices, and almost immediately found resistance from shoppers accustomed to Penney's couponing and discounting culture. He boldly revised the company's advertising, eschewing value propositions in favor of sparsely elegant and stylish displays that confused customers because they didn't show prices. Penney's board grew restless and perhaps rebellious at the end, cutting Johnson's 2012 pay by some 97% in a display of dissatisfaction. His cash salary was the same, but the cuts came from stock awards and bonuses. Johnson's final weeks as CEO were also marred by a costly legal battle with Macy's over who had the right to sell Martha Stewart-branded products. Johnson will likely take a hefty paycheck with him. Recent regulatory filings show that he was guaranteed a $150 million payout if he resigned or was fired.
Johnson will be replaced by his predecessor in the position. Expect a celebratory message today from the AFA's One Million Moms, which last year launched a boycott of the company over the hiring of Degeneres.

Labels: , ,

comments powered by Disqus