Vornado Chairman Roth Resigns from JCP Board as Company Looks to Sell Stake

Steven Roth

Steven Roth

NEW YORK-In another high-profile exit, Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust, has resigned from the J.C. Penney board of directors.

In addition, Vornado said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Joseph Macnow, its executive vice president-finance and chief administrative officer, said “at a recent conference” that Vornado expects to sell its shares in the retailer “in the not-too-distant future.” Vornado currently owns 13.4 million shares of J.C. Penney’s common stock, about 6.1 percent of the outstanding shares.

The move occurred one month after Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, then J.C. Penney’s largest shareholder with a 17.7 percent stake, resigned from the board and put Pershing Square’s shares up for sale. Ackman left after a highly public battle with the board and management over J.C. Penney’s direction and what he considered the slow pace in the search for a CEO to succeed Myron Ullman, who currently holds that post.

The SEC filing said Vornado will review its investment in J.C. Penney on a regular basis, and would take action that it deems appropriate depending on the retailer’s “financial position and strategic direction, actions taken by the board, price levels of the common shares, other investment opportunities available…market conditions and general economic and industry conditions.”