J.C. Penney Co. Inc. is paying Michael Kramer, its incoming chief operating officer, a $4 million signing bonus to make up for the equity grants he would have received as chief executive officer of Kellwood Co.

This story first appeared in the November 18, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Kramer, who starts Dec. 5, will also get a base salary of $1 million, 750,000 restricted stock units and other incentives. The pay package was revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday.

Penney’s also said Thomas Nealon, a group executive vice president and a key technology executive, is leaving on Dec. 1 to pay full attention to a seriously ill family member.

Nealon’s responsibilities included information technology, corporate strategy, customer insights, digital ventures and jcp.com. These areas will report to Kramer.

Myron E. “Mike” Ullman 3rd, executive chairman, said, “Tom is among the most talented information technology executives in America today, and he has made exceptional contributions to J.C. Penney over the past five years. On behalf of the board of directors and all of J.C. Penney’s associates, our thoughts are with Tom and his family.”

Ron Johnson, ceo, said, “Tom is one of the truly outstanding people I have met during my short tenure at J.C. Penney. He has added tremendous value to our company by putting in place a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure, which will serve as a strong foundation for our future growth plans.”

Penney’s has seen several top executive changes in recent months, including Johnson becoming ceo on Nov. 1 and eventually chairman in February, succeeding Ullman. There was also the recent appointment of Michael Francis as president and, last summer, Michael Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, departed.

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