J.C. Penney ex-CEO Johnson booted without severance

A regulatory filing from J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) shows that former CEO Ron Johnson was fired from the company in April 2013 without receiving severance pay as new product lines were rolled out to stores.

The infamous ex-chief executive joined J.C. Penney from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) in November 2011, assigned the task of turning around the retailer. Instead, his accelerated program of updating stores, doing away with discounts and dumping brands in lieu of fresh product lines did just the opposite.

Sales dropped by roughly 25 percent during 2012 and Johnson's predecessor, CEO, Mike Ullman, returned to J.C. Penney last year and reversed many of the changes made by Johnson.

One change that was particularly damaging was the removal of several private-label brands. Ullman brought back the popular St. John's Bay apparel line as well as JCP Home and Cooks. In the coming months, J.C. Penney also plans to reintroduce its Ambrielle lingerie, a customer favorite that was removed from the store in 2009.

This week, the retailer launched an exclusive Black Label by Evan-Picone collection, which includes more than 100 dressy sportswear items. Golf star Jack Nicklaus will also begin selling merchandise at 470 J.C. Penney stores starting Mar. 14. Jack Nicklaus' merchandise includes shorts, pants, polos and layering pieces, many with wicking and stretch attributes. Prices range from $25-$35.

In the most recent quarter, J.C. Penney's turnaround efforts seemed to be working. The retailer reported a net income of $35 million in the quarter that ended Feb. 1, compared with a loss of $552 million a year earlier. The company's last quarterly profit was in the quarter ended July 2011.

For more:
-See this Bloomberg article
-See this Women's Wear Daily article

Related stories:
J.C. Penney is on the path to recovery, posts first quarterly profit since 2011
J.C. Penney to close 33 stores, slash 2,000 jobs
J.C. Penney comp-store sales rise 10% in November
J.C. Penney's Q3 loss wider than expected as sales fall
J.C. Penney reports first monthly sales increase since 2011

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