Marvin Ellison is to double up as J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) CEO and Chairman after the retirement of long-serving executive Myron Ullman on August 1. The appointment comes barely a year after Mr. Ellison was confirmed the permanent CEO after taking over in 2014 on an interim basis.
In a statement, JC Penney says the management changes are in line with the company’s restructuring plan unveiled in 2014. Ellison joined the company in 2014 after the then CEO, Ron Johnson, was ousted after a $985 million drop in profit during his tenure between 2011 and 2013.
In addition to serving as JC Penney, Ullman has also served as CEO between 2004 and 2011. He was brought back in 2013 to spearhead a turnaround after Mr. Johnson was sacked
The departing chairman has already echoed his support for the new Chairman, who he says has proven himself as a person, capable to take the department store to new heights. Given his vast experience in retail business, having spent time in Home Depot and 15 years in Target, Ullman believes Ellison has what it takes to rebuild JC Penney into a modern retailer.
Working together Ullman and Ellison have helped reinvigorate JC Penney prospects, which was on the brink of collapse. During the second quarter, the company reported revenues of $2.81 billion net loss having narrowed to $68 million.
It will not be an easy ride for the new chairman given that he takes over at a time when the department store is facing immense competition, especially from e-commerce outlets. Traffic to brick and mortar stores has been on a decline in the recent past as consumer shopping patterns shift online thanks to services offered by the likes of Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN) and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY).
The company has already acknowledged that overreliance on apparel sales continues to drag down overall revenue. It now awaits to be seen the kind of plans Ellison has in store, to reinvigorate J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) prospects on this front.