J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s Search For New CEO Suffers Setback

Boston, MA 07/15/2014 (wallstreetpr) – J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), a struggling retail operator, suffered a setback in its search for the next chief executive officer to replace Mr. Mike Ullman who was rehired on temporary terms last year to right the ship after nearly 17 months of disastrous management and performance.

According to the people with insider knowledge, JCP sought to hire Mindy Grossman who currently runs HSN, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSNI). However, she declined the job, leaving the company to continue its hunt for the next CEO at a time when several other retailers are shopping for new leaders.

No interest in the job

The reason for Grossman’s decline of a position at J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) was not explained. However, the challenges in turning around the retailer appear so enormous that several experienced candidates who have been approached for the job have reportedly shown little interest.

With Grossman out of view, the directors of Penny (NYSE:JCP) continue to their search for the next leader of the retailer and they are reportedly looking through a small slate of finalists. However, sources say no big announcement is imminent.

The search for a new CEO at J.C. Penney Company is also complicated because of the fact that several other retailers are also looking for new leaders. The other retailers on the search for new CEO include American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE:AEO), Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), whose CEO resigned over the embarrassing data breach in the company.

The tough task of seeking a new leader for Penney is linked to the pressure from activist investor William Ackman who called for quick replacement of Mr. Ullman. Mr. Ackman played a key role to reinstall him to repair the company after several months of mismanagement under Ron Johnson, a former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) executive who attempted a failed remaking of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP).

Retail trouble

For the period he has been at the helm, Mr. Ullman has helped shore up the company’s balance sheet and even succeeded in boosting sales by reintroducing house brands and discounts to attract store traffic. However, at J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is still far from where it was before its problems started and like most other retailers, the company is grappling with poor store traffic and competition from online retailers.

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