Michael Kramer, chief executive officer of Kellwood Co., is leaving to join J.C. Penney as chief operating officer.


Kramer starts his new gig on December 5th.


Kramer worked with Ron Johnson, who succeeds J.C. Penney chairman Myon “Mike” Ullman in February 2012, while at Apple. Both worked on the retail operations of Apple. He also joins two other Apple alumni now at J.C. Penney: Michael Francis from Target and Dan Walker, who was head of human resources at Apple. Prior to joining Apple, Walker held the same post at The Gap Inc.


“Ron Johnson is probably one of the most amazing leaders I’ve ever worked for. He has an amazing vision for J.C. Penney,” Kramer said.


Kramer emphasized that he’s accomplished what he had set out to do at Kellwood and called the challenge of reinventing how you shop at “J.C. Penney an opportunity of a lifetime.”


Kramer said that he didn’t know whether his replacement at Kellwood would be from inside the company or an external hire.