J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is not going well in this inspirational turnaround. CEO Ron Johnson, the former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) retail guru, is heading this turnaround and the strategy seems to be just “change, and then just change again.”
Now comes fresh news out of the company that President Michael Francis will be leaving the company, and this as-of date is “effective today.” Why this matters is that he has only been at the company for less than a year. CEO Ron Johnson will assume direct responsibility and oversight of the J.C. Penney’s marketing and merchandising functions.
Now this turnaround is entirely under Ron Johnson. To show just how bad things have gone, shares were already down at $24.33 after a 2.2% drop on Monday and the stock is down over 6% at $22.75 in the after-hours. Here is how you know that Wall Street is not trusting the Ron Johnson turnaround: The prior 52-week low was $23.14, so this will be trading at a 52-week low on Tuesday if the trading level remains.
Maybe leading Apple’s retail push was far easier than anyone thought. Whether or not Apple’s retail efforts could have been run by a robot may or may not be the case, but what is turning out to be the case is that the successful retail initiative of Apple is not turning out to be an assured success for a department store.
Ron Johnson is again the supreme commander of this ship. Here is the question… Will Michael Francis get to keep his signing bonus?
JON C. OGG