Ron Johnson Explains Why JCPenney President Michael Francis Stepped Down

Posted Jun 21, 2012

A couple of days ago, JCPenney president Michael Francis stepped down from the company, leaving many people wondering what happened there. David Moin of Women’s Wear Daily contacted JCPenney CEO and former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Operations Ron Johnson to find out. Johnson was not too happy with Francis’ performance and “had to get involved.” Here is what Johnson had to say:

?It?s very simple. Michael and I had full agreement on the business strategy for Penney?s. We are huge believers that we are on track, and that ultimately we will carve out a winning position. But the marketing has not resonated with our core customer.
My job as CEO is to really take responsibility for everything. I felt compelled to dive in and help with the new strategy. Michael and I both concluded we didn?t need two hands on the same steering wheel. The marketing I largely left to him. The fact that it hasn?t resonated [meant] I had to get involved.?

Johnson and Francis agreed that Francis’ departure would be the best course of action. Johnson said that they will not be looking for a replacement for Francis and he will be in charge of JCPenney’s marketing from now on. JCPenney changed around its pricing strategy when Johnson took over. Now you will not see as many coupons available for JCPenney customers, but you will see many price discounts inside of the stores.