In April 2011, Williams Institute, a gay and lesbian think tank at UCLA School of Law, released a study that found Americans grossly overestimate the number of homosexuals in the United States. Instead of the common misconception that 25% of the US population are gay or lesbian, the truth is that it’s probably less than 2 percent.
And yet JC Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson decided to “improve” the family store by pandering to homosexuals — a move that, on the grounds of simple market calculation, isn’t smart.
First, Johnson made Ellen Degeneres the company’s spokeslesbian. Then JC Penney featured a lesbian couple in its Mother’s Day promotion, followed by a Father’s Day ad depicting two gay men and their children.
But Johnson’s gay-pandering alienated many Christians who, quietly and without fanfare, began boycotting the department store. (I have not stepped foot into a JC Penney since.)
Johnson became JC Penney’s CEO in November 2011. Note that the company’s stock performance began to go down after Feb. 2012, which was when Degeneres was hired to be its spokeslesbian on TV. Altogether, the company’s stock performance had fallen by -51% under Johnson’s “leadership”. (H/tZeroHedge)
Finally, JC Penney’s ineffectual Board of Directors got their heads out of their butts and has fired Ron Johnson. This is the company’s press release:
The Board of Directors of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. [NYSE: JCP], today announced that Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III has rejoined the Company as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He has also been elected to the Board of Directors. Mr. Ullman is a highly accomplished retail industry executive, who served as CEO of jcpenney until late 2011. He succeeds Ron Johnson, who is stepping down and leaving the Company.
Thomas Engibous, Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, said, “We are fortunate to have someone with Mike’s proven experience and leadership abilities to take the reins at the Company at this important time. He is well-positioned to quickly analyze the situation jcpenney faces and take steps to improve the Company’s performance.” [,,,]
About Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III
Mike Ullman is a veteran retail industry executive with more than 25 years of experience who has served in leadership roles at several of the world’s best-known retail companies. Prior to spending seven years leading jcpenney, as Chairman and CEO through November 2011 and Executive Chairman through January 2012, he served as Directeur General of the world’s largest luxury group, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, in Paris; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DFS Group Limited, the world’s leading travel retailer; and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of R.H. Macy & Co., Inc. Mr. Ullman’s prior retail experience also includes leading Wharf Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong and posts at Federated Department Stores earlier in his career. In addition, he previously served as a White House Fellow in the Reagan Administration, Vice President of Business Affairs at the University of Cincinnati, and as an International Account Manager for IBM Corporation.
Mr. Ullman currently serves on the boards of directors of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX), Saks Incorporated (NYSE: SKS), and the COFRA Group headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, and as Deputy Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is an advisor to the board of directors of the Retail Industry Leaders Association and is a past Chairman of the National Retail Federation. He is also Chairman of the Board of Mercy Ships International, a global medical and human services charity. He previously served as a director of Ralph Lauren Corporation; Taubman Centers, Inc.; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton; Federated Department Stores; and Segway, LLC.
Although Johnson is gone, it remains to be seen whether new CEO Myron Ullman will discontinue his predecessor’s gay-pandering.