Activist J.C. Penney investor William A. (Bill) Ackman has resigned the retailer’s Board of Directors, according to statement released by the company. Ackman has been embroiled in a dispute with the company’s board over finding a replacement for current company CEO Myron (Mike) Ullman.
The company also announced that Ronald W. Tysoe, a retail industry executive who spent 16 years as Vice Chairman at Federated Department Stores Inc. (now Macy’s, Inc.), has been elected to the Board. In addition, the Board said that it intends to name another “highly qualified” new director in the near future.
“The company is extremely fortunate to have the benefit of Ron Tysoe’s judgment and experience at this important time,” said Thomas Engibous, chairman of JC Penney’s Board of Directors. “His deep knowledge of the retail industry and his financial expertise will be invaluable to us as we continue the work underway to return J.C. Penney to profitability and growth. I would like to thank Bill Ackman for his service on the Board over the past two years.”
In the JC Penney statement Ackman stated, “During my time on the J.C. Penney Board of Directors, I have always advocated for what I believe to be in the best interests of the company – its stockholders, employees and others. At this time, I believe that the addition of two new directors and my stepping down from the Board is the most constructive way forward for J.C. Penney and all other parties involved.”
The Board today also reaffirmed its overwhelming support for Chief Executive Officer Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III and for Chairman Thomas Engibous, both of whom were at the center of the dispute with Ackman.