JCPenney has fired CEO Ron Johnson, who was brought in after his stint as Apple's retail chief to help turn the department store around. The news comes after a report from The New York Times last week that revealed the CEO had sustained a 97 percent pay cut for failing to permanently institute changes that brought success to the Apple Store. CNBC first reported the news, and Forbes has obtained a press release confirming the firing, which reveals that former CEO Mike Ullman III has been selected to replace Johnson. In a statement, the company said "we would like to thank Ron Johnson for his contributions while at JCPenney and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Johnson's attempts to bring some Apple Store magic to JCPenney included a move away from price as the force behind the retailer's sales. He instituted a ban on discounts, and attempted to introduce a store-within-a-store design that emphasized experience over value. When he was hired in November 2011, he said that successful retailers will be "the ones that start from scratch and figure out how to create fundamentally new types of value for customers" by asking "how do we reinvent the store to enrich our customers' lives?" That philosophy hasn't resonated with consumers: the company has lost money in each quarter since the CEO's hiring, and the stock has dropped by over 50 percent. Before Apple hired him in 2000, Johnson was a senior merchandising executive for Target.