J.C. Penney taps Home Depot’s Marvin Ellison as next CEO
J.C. Penney has decided who will succeed Mike Ullman as CEO when he steps down next year.
The department store operator said Monday morning that the role will go to Marvin Ellison, currently executive vice president of stores at Home Depot. Ellison, 49, has been at Home Depot for 12 years and has spent the last six years overseeing operations for the home-improvement retailer’s 2,000 stores.
Ellison will join J.C. Penney (JCP), starting November 1, as president and CEO-Designee before taking over the CEO role officially in August 2015. At that point, Ullman will begin a year-long role as executive chairman of the department store chain’s board of directors. Ullman welcomed Ellison to the company in a statement saying that he plans to work closely with his successor and adding that Ellison’s “experience and leadership are exactly what we need to accelerate the progress we have made over the last 18 months.”
Ellison said he is “excited about the opportunity to help lead the continued resurgence of J.C. Penney.”
The chain has certainly been in turnaround mode since Ullman returned to the CEO position last year with the dismissal of Ron Johnson following a massive sales dip. Ullman previously led J.C. Penney from 2004 to 2011 and his return kicked off a resurgence for the company that included a better-than-expected 6% spike in comparable sales in the most recent fiscal quarter. As Fortune reported last week, J.C. Penney is hoping that a recommitment to e-commerce can further improve its sales numbers.
Meanwhile, Ellison arrives from Home Depot (HD), a retailer that has reported its own strong sales numbers this year — thanks in part to the recovering housing market — though the company did recently join the recent wave of major retailers to be hit with a high-profile data breach that resulted in fraud.
J.C. Penney’s shares were up sharply on the news.