J. C. Penney Names Apple Exec Johnson as Next Chief Executive Officer

Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson

PLANO, Texas–J.C. Penney has named Ron Johnson, the senior vice president of retail at Apple for more than a decade, to be the company’s chief executive officer starting Nov. 1.

Johnson will report to outgoing CEO Myron Ullman, who will become executive chairman. Johnson also joins the company’s board of directors, effective Aug. 1.

For the last 11 years, Johnson has led Apple’s retail strategy, which started in 2001 and now numbers over 300 stores in the U.S. and abroad.  He joined Apple after 15 years at Target Corporation, where he was a key merchandising executive.

“I’ve always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help J. C. Penney re-imagine what I believe to be the single greatest opportunity in American retailing today, the department store,” Johnson said. “I have tremendous confidence in J.C. Penney’s future and look forward to working with Mike Ullman, the executive board and the company’s 150,000 associates to transform the way America shops.”

According to a statement from J.C. Penny, Johnson has committed to make a personal investment of $50 million in the company through the purchase of 7.257 million shares of J. C. Penney company stock.  The warrants cannot be sold or hedged for the first six years of their term and have a strike price of $29.92, the closing price of the stock on the business day prior to Johnson’s commitment to purchase the warrants.

Posted in News, Retail.

Last updated: June 14, 2011