Tenure: 17 months
Ahh, Ron Johnson: the man who made the JCPenney (JCP) soap opera possible.
In case you forget, Johnson’s short story goes a little something like this: Mike Ullman was in charge of JCPenney, but activist investor Bill Ackman didn’t like that. So the board tapped Ron Johnson — a former star at Target (TGT) and then Apple (AAPL) — to take over.
And it was a disaster.
More specifically, it was “one of the most aggressively unsuccessful tenures in retail history.” To skip to the not-so-happy ending, Johnson got the boot in under a year and a half, and Ackman eventually sold his stake after losing a giant stack of green.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Johnson left with “little to show for his 17 months running the ailing retailer,” besides now being a punchline. Johnson agreed to be paid predominantly in stock and gave up the rights to exit pay if he was fired.
And by the way … Ullman is back in the CEO chair.