Tuesday, June 19, 2012
J. C. Penney president Michael Francis steps down
Steadily-dropping stock did Francis no favors.
Nine months into his tenure, J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is once again tasked with hiring a new president for the Plano-based retail giant.
Michael Francis was named the company's president in October. During his stint at J.C. Penney, he was responsible for merchandising and marketing, responsibilities which will now be handled by Johnson.
"We thank Michael for his hard work at jcpenney and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Johnson said in a statement released Monday.
One of Francis' major projects was helping J.C. Penney implement a new pricing strategy which focused on everyday low prices, rather than frequent sales. Francis previously worked at Target, as well as Marshall Field's.
The multi-year turnaround planned by Johnson has gotten off to a slow start, a fact he acknowledged in May when the company reported that same store sales fell nearly 19 percent during the first quarter of 2012. The company's stock plunged the day after the May announcement, dropping $6.57 -- or nearly 20 percent -- to close at $26.75.
Since the initial drop, the stock has continued to fall. On Monday, the stock closed at $24.33. The announcement that Francis leaving came after the markets closed, but the company's stock has dropped another $1.33 in after-hours trading and sat at $23 as of 4:45 p.m. As recently as February 9, the stock was priced at more than $43.
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