Former Target foe takes on JCP

Activist investor and hedge fund executive Bill Ackman has accomplished at J.C. Penney what he was unable to do at Target. He secured a seat on the department store retailer’s board after purchasing a bunch of shares and will now be able to push for strategies to increase shareholder value. Joining Ackman on the J.C. Penney board is another large shareholder, Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust. Both men joined the company as it announced plans to close five stores, wind down its catalog business, realign call center operations and reorganize a custom decorating business.

Ackman tried a similar strategy at Target but his plans were thwarted when shareholders rejected his proposal for a complex real estate transaction and his alternate slate of directors was rejected following a lengthy and expensive proxy battle. Ackman and Roth received a different reception at J.C. Penney.

“They share our passion for operational excellence and are committed to enhancing value for all of the company's shareholders. We look forward to benefitting from their expertise,” said Myron Ullman, chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney.

Their addition expands the board to 13 members from 11.