Penney Names Target’s Francis as President
When J.C. Penney hired incoming CEO Ron Johnson away from Apple, people began immediately talking about him reinventing the department store experience. Now, with Mr. Johnson’s first major decision, at least one that is publicly known, he doesn’t appear as though he is looking to tone down anyone’s expectations.
Yesterday, the chain announced it had hired Michael Francis, former chief marketing officer for Target and the person the company put in charge of entering the Canadian market, as president. In his new role, Mr. Francis will be responsible for marketing, merchandising, planning and allocation, product development and sourcing at Penney.
"I am thrilled to welcome Michael to our team," said Mr. Johnson, in a press release. "He is an extremely talented executive with the vision and courage to re-imagine the department store experience. His ability to innovate and deep understanding of the industry will be invaluable as we set out to transform J.C. Penney into America’s favorite store."
Mr. Francis said, "This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back to department store retail. I began my career working on the sales floor of the State Street Marshall Field’s in Chicago. It was there where my passion for retail began and my understanding of the power and potential of the department store was formed. I am delighted to join J.C. Penney and work with Ron and the talented J.C. Penney team to help accelerate the momentum already taking place."
According to a Bloomberg News report, hiring Mr. Franics may mean that Penney has given up its attempts to capture more upscale shoppers and will direct its energies to becoming a discount shopping destination in malls.
Bernard Sosnick, an analyst at Gilford Securities, told Bloomberg, "That seems to be a much more effective approach than what they’ve been doing."
- J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Names Michael R. Francis President – J.C.Penney Company, Inc./PRNewswire via COMTEX
- Penney Names Ex-Target Marketing Chief As President – Dow Jones Newswires/The Wall Street Journal
- J.C. Penney’s Johnson Poaches Target’s Chief Marketing Officer Francis – Bloomberg News
Discussion Question: What do you think the hiring of Michael Francis means for J.C. Penney?