J.C. Penney details succession: Ullman to leave in February
New York City — J.C. Penney Co. on Monday detailed the timeline of its upcoming change in executive management with the news that current CEO and chairman Myron “Mike” Ullman will leave the company and the board in February 2012 after a three-month transition period during which he will hand over the reins in full to his successor, Apple retail guru Ron Johnson.
Johnson, who has never been a CEO, will join J.C. Penney’s board Aug. 1. He will start as chief executive on Nov. 1, when he assumes responsibility for marketing and merchandising functions 1. He will take over the remaining responsibilities after a three-month transition ending on February 1, 2012.
Ullman said in a release that he looked forward to helping with the transition and then stepping aside, "as has been my practice in previous CEO positions."
“Leadership succession planning was a key priority of mine and of our board of directors, and I am delighted we have accomplished it in such a positive way for J. C. Penney,” Ullman stated. “We are confident that the company will reach its next stage of growth and success under Ron’s leadership."
Update: Ex-Apple exec fulfills dream, becomes JCPenney CEO
PLANO, Texas — Last week, RetailingToday.com reported that former Apple executive Ron Johnson would succeed Mike Ullman as CEO of JCPenney. Today, JCPenney announced that Ullman, who was originally slated to remain on the company’s board of directors indefinitely, will now be leaving the company on Feb. 1, 2012.
Commenting on the transition plan, Johnson said, "I look forward to becoming the CEO of JCPenney and working side by side with Mike during the first three months of my tenure. I am excited to work with Mike, the board and the entire JCPenney team as we lay the foundation to transform the way America shops. I cannot wait to get started."
For the past 11 years Johnson served as SVP retail at Apple where he led the company’s retail strategy from inception to more than 300 locations worldwide. While the Apple retail network isn’t large, this is one situation where size doesn’t matter as Apple stores approach to customer service and operating model are widely praised.
Prior to Apple, Johnson spent 15 years at Target, last serving as VP merchandising. During his tenure at Target, he had responsibility for categories such as men’s apparel, women’s apparel and accessories, children’s and home. According to JCPenney, Johnson is most noted for launching and leading the design initiative at Target, which began with the Michael Graves collection for home and included several other key brands such as Calphalon, Carr, Bodum and more.
He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School and his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Stanford.
Wal-Mart Stores completes Massmart deal
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores announced that it has completed its investment for a 51% stake in South African-based Massmart Holdings Limited for ZAR148 per Massmart ordinary share.
Massmart will continue to trade on the JSE Limited to provide Massmart shareholders with the ability to participate in the growth opportunity of the combined entity.
Under the terms of the agreement, which gives the company the right to nominate the chairman as well as three non-executive directors to the Massmart board, Walmart has asked currentMassmart chairman Mark Lamberti to remain as chairman and has nominatedWalmart executives Doug McMillon, Jeff Davis, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. SVP finance and treasury, and JP Suarez, SVP Walmart international business development, to serve as directors.
Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart International, said, "With the closing of our investment in Massmart, we are very excited about our entry into South Africa as well as the broader African continent. As we do in all of our other markets, we will work to serve underserved customers, to help people save money to live better. Just as important, we will grow in this part of the world, and as we do, we expect to create many jobs and support local suppliers. We have a global track record of working directly with small farmers, boosting their income and helping them become more sustainable, and we look forward to bringing those practices to South Africa."