Johnson Out, Ullman Back as J.C. Penney CEO

Myron Ullman III

Myron Ullman III

PLANO, Texas-Ron Johnson has left J.C. Penney, and the retailer has brought back Myron Ullman III, the former chairman and CEO, to succeed him.

Johnson took the CEO post in November 2011 and launched an overhaul of J.C. Penney intended to transform it from a promotional department store to a specialty department store. Central to this effort was the reformatting of the stores featuring branded shops, along with reconfiguring J.C. Penney’s pricing around fewer promotions.

For the fiscal year ending on Feb. 2, J.C. Penney posted a net loss of $985 million and same-store sales dropped 25.2 percent. A J.C. Penney filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Johnson’s departure “is not the result of any disagreement with the company or the board of directors on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices.”

Ullman had been chairman and CEO of the department-store retailer from 2004 until Johnson succeeded him. He then served as executive chairman until January 2012. In his new role, Ullman has also been elected to the J.C. Penney board.