In an abrupt departure, Michael Francis has left J.C. Penney Co. less than nine months after taking the position of president. No reason was given in a terse, three-sentence press release announcing the move.


Michael Francis, J.C. Penney Co., Target Corp., John Pellegrene, Ron Johnson,
























































































































































































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Francis exits J.C. Penney

June 19th, 2012

PLANO, Texas – In an abrupt departure, Michael Francis has left J.C. Penney Co. less than nine months after taking the position of president. No reason was given in a terse, three-sentence press release announcing the move.

Francis had joined Penney after a highly successful career at Target Corp., where he had followed and built on the legacy of the legendary John Pellegrene as head of marketing. At Penney, Francis had been responsible for marketing a controversial pricing strategy created by chief executive officer Ron Johnson that eliminated numerous sales events.

The sudden move to a three-tiered everyday-low prices strategy met with a big thumbs down from shoppers, reflected in a disastrous first quarter that saw same-store sales plummet nearly 19% while total sales plunged 20.1%. While Penney’s advertising has been criticized for not clearly communicating the new pricing strategy, Johnson’s public comments about probable customer reaction to the new strategy clearly show him to be out of touch with the chain’s customer base.
 

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