Former J.C. Penney CEO Johnson Checked Out Without Severance


More information regarding the payouts J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) executives enjoyed last year was shared Friday. The struggling retailer revealed in its company filing that Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney’s former chief executive officer, didn’t receive severance upon his departure from the company, and neither did Chief Talent Officer Daniel Walker, who left in April. Michael Kramer, the former chief operating officer, did get a payout, though the company reduced his termination agreement by $1 million. He was paid a total of $2.35 million last year.

Bloomberg reported the news Saturday, noting that the lack of a severance payment for Johnson reflects J.C. Penney’s controversial feelings toward the former CEO. When Johnson left Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for J.C. Penney in 2011, there was optimism that he would be able to turn the retailer’s disappointing sales around and revive life at the company. However, it’s safe to say those expectations were not met, as J.C. Penney’s stock dove 25 during Johnson’s tenure.

Myron Ullman, current CEO and the man who retook the reins from Johnson when he left, made $2.39 million in total compensation last year, including more than $810,000 in salary, Bloomberg reported Saturday. For the portion of the year he worked, Johnson received $658,921 in salary.

The figures in J.C. Penney’s filing did not come as a surprise. The Plano, Texas-based company has been open about the disappointment it maintains for the former CEO, and Ullman has spent a significant portion of his time undoing what Johnson did at J.C. Penney, reviving many of the retailer’s old discount offerings and sales plots just to stem the bleeding.

Now, J.C. Penney’s stock sits down 0.92 percent, around $8.60, as of Monday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, and the company’s executives are still desperately trying to orchestrate a turnaround plan that will keep its investors quiet, its consumers shopping, and its stock from falling any further. Ullman has said time and time again that the “worst is behind us“ for J.C. Penney, promising consumers, investors, and analysts that the company’s fate is now in the right hands. But some pessimists still aren’t sure that Ullman can successfully undo all the damage Johnson had already done, and for now, it’s still a waiting game.