J.C. Penney names Marvin Ellison as next CEO

Marvin Ellison, president and CEO-Designee of J.C. Penney Co.After over a year-long search, J.C. Penney (JCP) named Home Depot (HD) executive Marvin Ellison as CEO, the company announced Monday.

Penney shares fell 0.4% to close at $7.09. UBS downgraded the stock from neutral to sell, calling out the retailer for not showcasing enough new and exciting merchandise at a recent analyst day in New York City.

Ellison takes over from interim CEO Mike Ullman, the company’s former chief executive who agreed to come out of retirement to help the company rebuild itself after CEO Ron Johnson was ousted in April 2013.

Ellison, who is currently executive vice president of stores at Home Depot, will become president and CEO-designee of J.C. Penney as of Nov. 1. He will officially become CEO next August.

In a release, J.C. Penney Chairman Thomas Engibous called Ellison “the right CEO to lead the next stage of J.C. Penney’s growth.”

“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,” Engibous said.

Ellison, 49, also worked for 15 years at Target. His leadership skills will be an asset to Penney, which has struggled from a lack of management discipline and inconsistent customer experiences between stores, says Jason Hanold, CEO of Hanold Associates, an executive search firm.

“He’s coming from an organization that simply has world class management,” he says. “If a disciplined leader is instilling management discipline through an organization, that can often translate into better customer experience.”

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