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JCP picks a president and eventual CEO


Home Depot EVP Marvin Ellison will become president of J.C. Penney on November 1 and succeed Mike Ullman as CEO of the department store retailer next August.

Ellison, 49, is an interesting choice for a retailer focused on apparel and accessories given his extensive background in operations as opposed to merchandising. He spent the past 12 years at Home Depot and most recently served as EVP of stores since 2008. Prior to his current role he served as president of Home Depot’s northern division and also held the role of SVP of global logistics. Before Home Depot, Ellison spent 15 years in a variety of operational roles at Target including corporate director of asset protection. Ellison serves on the board of FedEx and earned a business administration degree in marketing from the University of Memphis and a MBA from Emory University.

Plans call for Ellison to replace Ullman as CEO on August 1, 2015 at which time Ullman will become executive chairman of the board for a one year period.

"The Board has completed its search for the right CEO to lead the next stage of J. C. Penney's growth. We are delighted to have found that person in Marvin Ellison, a highly accomplished retail executive with a history of delivering top and bottom line results at major American retailers,” said J.C. Penney chairman Thomas Engibous. “He brings to the role, among other assets, an extensive knowledge of store operations and supply chain management as well as a demonstrated ability to successfully run large retail organizations. In light of these attributes, we believe he is well equipped to return the company to profitable growth.”

Engibous also spoke highly of Ullman’s contributions, noting that he agreed to return to the company during the most difficult period in its history. Ullman is credited with stabilizing the business and improving performance after the company attempted an ill-fated transformation under the leadership of prior CEO Ron Johnson.

“(Marvin Ellison’s) experience and leadership are exactly what we need to accelerate the progress we have made over the last 18 months,” Ullman said. “I look forward to working closely with him and the rest of our outstanding team in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and a successful future for J.C. Penney."

Ellison added, “as president and, ultimately, CEO, I will be focused on positioning the company to compete in a rapidly changing retail environment for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, suppliers and associates. I am confident that we have the customer proposition, the brand, and the talent to make J.C. Penney successful over the long term."

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