JCPenney COO: 'I Hated The JCPenney Culture, It Was Pathetic'

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JCPenney experienced a seismic shift on corporate culture when CEO Ron Johnson took the helm of the company more than a year ago.The new guard didn’t like JCPenney’s old way of doing things at headquarters.

Not one bit.

Dana Mattioli at The Wall Street Journal spoke with JCPenney COO Michael Kramer about the company’s culture and the mass layoffs at the company’s headquarters. He’s one of the execs brought in by Johnson, who he’d previously worked with at Apple.

“I hated the JCPenney culture,” Kramer told the WSJ. “It was pathetic.”

Senior management thought that the headquarters in Plano had become “overstaffed and underproductive” and something had to be done about it.

Kramer shared an example: There were 4,800 employees at the HQ in January 2012, and in one month they had watched five million YouTube videos during work hours.┬áHe said that 35 per cent of bandwidth at HQ was used for “loafing off.”

One big consequence was the culling of staff. Now, a little more than a year later, 1,600 of those workers have been sent packing.

Another was the total destruction of the company’s old corporate culture, which led to dissent among the ranks of executives at the home office who didn’t agree with the changes.

Work at JCPenney HQ? What do you think about this? Shoot me an email at [email protected].

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