Michael Francis departs J.C. Penney
Plano, Texas — In an announcement that caught the retail industry by surprise, J.C. Penney Co. said that Michael Francis will be leaving the company, effective June 18. Chief executive Ron Johnson will assume direct responsibility and oversight of the company’s marketing and merchandising functions.
Francis became president of J.C. Penney on Oct. 4. His appointment was seen as the handiwork of then-incoming CEO Johnson, who is himself a former Target executive. No reason was given for Francis’ departure. In a statement, Johnson said: "We thank Michael for his hard work at J.C. Penney and wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Johnson lured Francis away from Target, where he served as chief marketing officer, and was credited with enhancing the retailer’s fun and hip image. At J.C. Penney, he was responsible for all merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, and product development and sourcing functions. In announcing the appointment, Johnson said Francis had the vision "to reimagine the department store experience.”
Francis is the first top executive to leave since Johnson took charge of J.C. Penney last year.
J.C. Penney is in the midst of a vast transformation, which is being led by Johnson. The company reported a $163 million first-quarter loss and has recently been backing off on its new pricing strategy, bringing back some promotions. Shares of J.C. Penney fell nearly 6% in after-hours trading Monday on the news of Francis’ departure.
Francis began his marketing career in 1985 with Marshall Field’s, which in 1990 was acquired by Target. He was promoted to EVP marketing at Target in 2001, and was named CMO in 2008. In January 2011, he was charged with overseeing with Target’s entrance into the Canadian market.
Macy’s kicks off campaign for literacy
NEW YORK — Macy’s has launched its annual summer fundraising campaign for children’s literacy. Starting June 22, customers can give $3 to help provide a book for a child in their local communities. Through the program, customers will receive a coupon for $10 off an in-store purchase of $50 or more (certain exclusions apply), and Macy’s will donate 100% of every $3 to Reading Is Fundamental. The five-week fundraising effort ends July 31.
To celebrate the launch of the campaign in-store, select Macy’s across the country will host Reading Circles with professional athletes including Joel Dreessen of the Denver Broncos, Patrick Chung of the New England Patriots, Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers, Leonard Hankerson of the Washington Redskins, and Daryn Colledge of the Arizona Cardinals.
“Macy’s has been committed to RIF’s mission of educating and empowering children through literacy since 2004. The Be Book Smart campaign allows Macy’s stores across the country the opportunity to give back to the local community. United with our customers, we are stronger together in our efforts to eradicate childhood illiteracy while bettering children’s chances for a brighter future through reading and access to books,” said Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer, Macy’s Inc. “With each school season, we hope to make more books available to school children across America.”
Now in its eighth year, Macy’s has helped raise over $21 million for RIF since 2004, dollars which have gone to promote literacy at all levels, from buying books for children to helping build libraries in local communities.
Callaway Golf names SVP marketing
CARLSBAD, Calif. — Callaway Golf Company has named Harry Arnett as SVP marketing. In this role, Arnett assumes leadership of the company’s global marketing, communications and go-to-market functions. The announcement was made by Chip Brewer, president and CEO, Callaway Golf.
"Harry has demonstrated an impressive ability to develop and execute compelling strategies on a global scale that clearly connect with golfers," said Brewer. "We’re looking forward to his contributions and leadership of our Marketing as we further strengthen our organization and move ahead with our turnaround plan."
"It’s awesome to be a part of such an iconic brand and join a company so completely dedicated to making the best products in the world," said Arnett.
Arnett joins Callaway Golf with extensive golf industry experience. He most recently held the position of VP global marketing, TaylorMade, adidas, and Ashworth Golf. In addition, he has held senior marketing leadership roles at Russell Corporation and Tinwood Media Ventures. Arnett earned an MBA from Duke University after completing his undergraduate studies at Emory University in Atlanta.