JCPenney's (NYSE:JCP) quest for a permanent CEO continues after HSN's Mindy Grossman declined an offer to head up the retailer.
Talks with Grossman reportedly escalated but ended two months ago when the parties couldn't agree on terms, sources informed on the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
JCPenney has been on the hunt for new leadership ever since CEO Ron Johnson stepped down after a single disastrous year in which sales plummeted 25 percent. Johnson's attempt to attract a younger shopper demographic resulted in the elimination of long-standing sales and existing store brands, moves that alienated many existing customers.
Johnson recently spoke of leaving his position as CEO of JCPenney during a speaker series last month at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
He said he attempted to resign in February, March and finally in April, when the board accepted his resignation. Johnson said he was a terrible fit for JCPenney. "I believe in change. This company is much more comfortable, like many people are, with the status quo," he said, according to Racked. "In hindsight, the biggest mistake was that we went too fast. Way too fast for our board, way too fast for our customers, way too fast for employees, way too fast for our board members."
Johnson was replaced by his predecessor, Myron Ullman, as interim CEO. Ullman and the board—now without activist investor William Ackman, the man who supported Johnson's efforts—have managed to mitigate the losses and put JCPenney back on track.
Grossman's name has also been mentioned as a possible contender for Target's (NYSE:TGT) top slot, which was vacated by Gregg Steinhafel. Grossman is credited with boosting HSN's image and helping to turn what was originally a TV-based shopping platform into a multichannel powerhouse: skills both Target and JCPenney would greatly benefit from.
However, HSN has no physical stores, and the ability to manage, develop and integrate a sizable brick-and-mortar store will be critical skills for an incoming CEO at either retailer.
-See this Wall Street Journal story
-See this Racked article
Department stores 'most pressured' retail category
JCPenney's first quarter surprise, a 6% sales increase
JCPenney adds intimates from Elle Macpherson
JCPenney CEO Mike Ullman gets $1.5 million raise
JCPenney is on the path to recovery, posts first quarterly profit since 2011