J.C. Penney Co. Inc.’s marketing team has experienced a string of departures, among them its top official, Mike Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
Boylson’s exit has raised speculation that incoming chief executive officer Ron Johnson has already begun cleaning house at Penney’s. Johnson is expected to bring a lot of change to the business, just as he did at Apple, where as senior vice president of retail he orchestrated the brand’s fast-paced, innovative and highly productive retail strategy from its inception in 2001 to more than 300 stores currently in the U.S. and abroad.
Boylson left Penney’s at the beginning of July, though Penney’s did not announce his departure despite his stature and long history there. Boylson joined the retailer as a management trainee in 1978, rose up the ranks to store manager, district manager, vice president and director of marketing planning and promotions, and finally executive vice president in April 2003. He oversaw a huge, high-profile marketing program with an annual advertising budget estimated at around $1 billion.
Two other marketing executive also recently left Penney’s: Nick Bomersbach, vice president of marketing for jcpenney.com and a 10-year veteran of Penney’s, and Christine Laczai, director of digital marketing who has been with Penney’s for two years and previously worked with VF Corp.
In confirming Boylson’s departure Friday, Penney’s said it has begun a search for Boylson’s successor. “Mike Boylson informed J.C. Penney in early June of his intention to retire on July 1,” a Penney’s spokeswoman said. It’s expected that Penney’s will hold off on filling the other vacancies until a new executive vice president of marketing is determined. Bill Gentner, Penney’s senior vice president of marketing planning and promotions, is acting as interim chief marketing officer.
Johnson joins Penney’s board on Aug. 1. and becomes ceo in November but has already been getting his feet wet. He accompanied Penney’s current ceo and chairman, Myron E. “Mike” Ullman 3rd, to Hong Kong for the chain’s annual supplier summit, where key suppliers learn about the state of Penney’s business and long-range plans.
In addition to making organizational changes, Johnson is expected to drive Penney’s Web presence, introduce new products and get the Penney’s team to think differently. Penney’s close to $18 billion in sales last year is still under prerecession volumes, but the company has the potential for growth and for elevating its image to attract younger customers. Johnson was lured to Penney’s by the prospect of reinventing another slice of retail, just as he did with the technology sector, and by the opportunity to be the top gun at a multi-billion dollar corporation.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews