When Ron Johnson, the former Apple retail darling, took over JCPenney (JCP) investors hoped for a reinvention of the embattled department store. But after Johnson was unceremoniously sacked about a year after joining the company, Myron “Mike” Ullman returned to the company in April as CEO, despite the fact that he was the one who presided over the company’s decline from 2004 to 2012.
Shareholders didn’t really have a choice, and the 66-year-old-Ullman is obviously a stopgap solution. But a stopgap for what? Will he drive the company in to the ground quickly enough to be its last CEO? Or will the JCP board have to find another sucker to run this retailer until the end of the line?
It’s not a fun place to be when Ron Johnson’s downfall was his plan to do something completely different. But the status quo at JCP is characterized by rumors that it can’t even make payments on its loans.