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In this Oct. 23, 2009 photo, Mike Ullman, Chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney Company, Inc., visits a company store in New York. Mike Ullman was named CEO of JC Penney's after Ron Johnson was ousted on Monday, April 8, 2013, after restructuring backfired.
In this Oct. 23, 2009 photo, Mike Ullman, Chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney Company, Inc., visits a company store in New York. Mike Ullman was named CEO of JC Penney's after Ron Johnson was ousted on Monday, April 8, 2013, after restructuring backfired.
(Mark Lennihan/AP)

FINANCIAL TIMES

CEO out at J.C. Penney. Private equity in?

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Enter private equity. Hopefully.

Ron Johnson is out at J.C. Penney Co. Inc.. The board, which is reinstating the man that Mr. Johnson replaced just 16 months ago, may hope that his tenure as chief executive at the mid-market department store will be forgotten by history. But that is unlikely. Last year sales fell 25 per cent, and the company burnt more than $800-million (U.S.) of cash. Mr. Johnson’s strategy of “stores within a store” and limited discounts gained no traction, and the golden Martha Stewart may be forced from the stores, as litigation between J.C. Penney and Macy’s continues.