Ron Johnson’s Debacle at J. C. Penney: A Management Case

Ron Johnson’s Debacle at J. C. Penney: A Management Case

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

In late 2011, Ron Johnson was hired as CEO of J. C. Penney on the basis of his retailing reputation, to turn around the lagging performance of the corporation. Within a year, the company stock dropped nearly 50%, its traditional customers deserted the company in droves, and thousands of operating employees and managers were laid off. As a result, Ron Johnson was terminated after a brief 17 months and departed Penney with a record low separation package and a much-diminished reputation. This case examines the managerial, communication, and strategic practices of Ron Johnson at J. C. Penney, and challenges students to think critically in evaluating his managerial style.

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