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Top real estate and store development exec leaves J.C. Penney

New York -- Another Ron Johnson-appointee and former Apple executive has left J.C. Penney. Ben Fay, who was brought as EVP real estate, store design and development, has left the company, according to the Dallas Morning News. Returning to Penney in an advisory capacity is the chain's former senior VP of property development, Tom Clerkin, who took early retirement from the company last year, the report said.

Fay, who served as senior director of retail real estate, design and development at Apple, joined Penney in spring 2012. At the time, then-CEO Johnson stated: "Ben is an incredibly creative professional with extraordinary leadership skills. Having worked with him over the last 12 years, I am delighted to see Ben step into this new role at jcp. His design influence has made the Apple stores highly regarded retail destinations around the world, and I am excited to have Ben place his own mark on jcp as we re-imagine the J.C. Penney store of the future."

In the weeks since Johnson left Penney, several of his key appointees — also former Apple execs — have left, including Dan Walker, chief talent officer, and Michael Kramer, COO.