Whoever the next JCPenney CEO is, he or she will have their hands full when they take the reins from interim CEO Mike Ullman.
The search for the next JCPenney CEO is taking a long time, and so it should. The person who takes the job — Grossman was a smart choice despite being unsuccessful in wooing her — will need to understand large-scale retail, have undertaken a turnaround or restructuring, be a good communicator both internally and externally, and be prepared to fail despite putting in a lot of hard work.
Becoming JCPenney CEO is a thankless job, much like becoming the coach or general manager of my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs — no matter how smart you are, the gods always seem to be pitted against you.
With these parameters in mind, here are my three choices to become the next JCPenney CEO: