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Michael Francis Out at J.C. Penney

June 19, 2012
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After only eight months, Michael Francis, one of the key architects of J.C. Penney's high profile turnaround efforts, is leaving the company, effective immediately. In October, the former Target exec became J.C. Penney's president, responsible for merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, and product development and sourcing. J.C. Penney announced the parting in a three-sentence statement, noting CEO Ron Johnson will assume direct responsibility and oversight of the company's marketing and merchandising functions. Johnson thanked Francis for his "hard work" and wished him well in his "future endeavors."



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J.C. Penney lost $163 million in the first quarter. Sales skidded 20 percent; traffic slowed 10 percent; conversion and average customer spending both fell 5 percent. Grim results indeed. But don't expect CEO Ron Johnson, President Michael Francis and the rest of the crew to throw in the towel on their retail revolution plan just yet.

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