By  on September 6, 2008

Myron E. "Mike" Ullman 3rd, one of the key protagonists in one of the most dramatic and tumultuous events in modern retail history—the 1992 bankruptcy of R.H. Macy and the bitter battle for control of the legendary retailer that followed—recently reflected on that period of his career. Named co-chairman of Macy’s three months before the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Ullman found himself fighting to keep Macy’s independent as a variety of special interests pressed competing agendas.

“I try to suppress that era of my life,” says Ullman, who is now chairman and chief executive offer of J.C. Penney, half-joking. “There were two phases—pre-bankruptcy and postbankruptcy, which was about rebuilding Macy’s. What I remember most is the exhilaration of the team in being able to turn Macy’s around.”

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