J.C. Penney (JCP) Chief Executive Myron Ullman is slated to receive a generous salary increase this year, a sign of confidence on the part of the company’s board regarding his ability to turn the struggling retailer around.
In 2014, Ullman is due to receive $1.5 million as his base salary, up from $810,000 last year. He will also get equity awards totaling $5.5 million and is eligible for another $3 million in bonuses tied to performance. Last year, Ullman received an additional $1.6 million in other sources of compensation, including use of the private corporate jet.
While JCP continues to experience serious challenges reconnecting with lost consumers, there has been some signs of hope under Ullman’s tenure. The last quarterly report the company filed was the first positive one since 2011, and its its same-store sales rose 2 percent for the fourth quarter. Still, revenue for the quarter skid to $3.78 billion down from $3.88 billion a year ago. Also, JCP reported a full-year operating loss of $1.42 billion. In 2013, same-store sales were down 7.4% and overall sales dropped 9 percent.
Ullman has remained enthusiastically optimistic about JCP’s turnaround prospects despite significant hurdles left to clear. In response to the fourth quarter results, he said, “While 2013 brought a lot of change and challenges to JCP, the steady improvements in our business show that the company’s turnaround is on track. In spite of the significant headwinds facing all retailers this season, including unprecedented harsh weather conditions in many parts of the country, we delivered on our promise to generate positive comparable store sales growth in the fourth quarter.”