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Ron Johnson speaks

Former JCP ceo shares his perspective on retailing

Stanford, Calif. – Retail veteran Ron Johnson spoke recently with students from the Stanford Graduate School of Business about what he’s learned over 30 years in retailing, and said his failed attempt to rapidly transform JCPenney during his brief tenure there resulted from “arrogance.”

Appearing as a guest speaker at the prestigious business school’s View for the Top series in May, Johnson also discussed his tenure at Mervyn’s, Target and Apple.

Of his strategy to revamp JCPenney into an attractive destination for younger shoppers he said: “I think it was kind of arrogance. I just had such — I’d had such success, you know? Most of the things I’d done at Apple and Target worked and so you think, well, this will work, too. And the reality is, you know, we moved too quickly.”

He added that JCPenney and its customers turned out to be more comfortable with the status quo.

Since he was ousted from the company in spring 2013, Johnson founded a new investment fund called Johnson Partners.

For a summary of his remarks, click here. Video of his conversation is available here.



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