As CEO departs, here are 5 big challenges that JC Penney faces

Sergio Cunningham
May 23, 2018

Lowe's has named Marvin Ellison President and CEO, effective July 2, 2018. In its announcement, Lowe's calls Ellison "an experienced retail CEO with extensive expertise in a complex omnichannel consumer-facing company".

If you're wondering, before heading up JCPenney, Ellison worked more than 12 years at Lowe's rival Home Depot, including serving as executive vice president of USA stores.

In a statement release by Lowe's, Ellison said, "I am thrilled to take on the role as Lowe's next president and CEO". He came to JCPenney in 2014 after a 12-year career at Lowe's rival Home Depot, eventually serving as executive vice president of that chain's United States stores.

J C Penney Company Inc shares were trading at $2.32 per share on Tuesday afternoon, down $0.18 (-7.20%). The next year, the company added more than $2.5 billion in debt to its books. He worked closely with then-CEO Mike Ullman III until August 1, 2015, at which time he became the company's first African-American CEO.

"In our view, (Lowe's) is in need of a fresh set to eyes to help to improve operational controls at the chain and potentially close a still significant profitability gap with HD", the note read. Marvin joins Lowe's at a critical inflection point as we work to enhance our competitive position and capitalize on solid project demand in an evolving consumer environment.

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Niblock has served as interim CEO since announcing his early retirement earlier this spring.

In his last position at The Home Depot, Ellison led almost 2,000 retail locations as executive vice president of US stores. He had spent 12 years as a senior executive at Home Depot, so he knows the home-improvement business well. However, he is stepping down from the Chairman role immediately.

When WREG interviewed him a year ago, Ellison was one of only four African-Americans leading a Fortune 500 company. Those are also two areas that the activist investor at Lowe's said needed be addressed.

Ellison is now a director of FedEx Corporation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the National Retail Federation.

Lowe's reports first-quarter results on Wednesday "and obviously wanted to talk about hiring Marvin", Grom told The Post.

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