J.C. Penney Company Inc. announced a new chain of command on Monday. The struggling department store has tapped Marvin Ellison, currently the executive vice president of stores at Home Depot, as its next president and CEO-designee. Ellison’s new role will be effective Nov. 1, 2014. He will then succeed Mike Ullman, III as CEO of J.C. Penney on Aug. 1, 2015.
Ullman, who served as CEO during the company’s most difficult period in its history, will begin a one-year term as executive chairman of the board after he steps down from his CEO post next year.
Most recently, Ellison has been the most senior operations leader for Home Depot’s approximately 2,000 stores in the U.S. His career with the home improvement retailer, however, began 12 years ago, when he started as senior vice president of global logistics, and then became president of the Northern Division, a role in which he was responsible for the sales and operation of more than 700 stores in 21 states. Prior to Home Depot, Ellison spent 15 years with Target in various operational roles, including corporate director of asset protection.
Thomas J. Engibous, chairman of Penney’s board of directors, lauded Ellison for his history of delivering top and bottom line results at major U.S. retailers. Engibous said, “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.”
Ellison said, “I am honored by this appointment and excited about the opportunity to help lead the continued resurgence of JCPenney. This Company has been an important part of the American retail landscape for over one hundred years. Today, it is moving in the right direction and there is an extraordinary passion to win at every level of the organization.” He 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 JCPenney successful over the long term.”