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Veteran retail consultant and former 16-year Morgan Stanley retail analyst Walter Loeb isn’t convinced that the marketing failures of JCPenney should all be blamed on former president Michael Francis.”While Michael Francis was the ‘fall guy’ in this action, I believe that Ron Johnson, chairman and CEO, was also to blame for the lack of business since he clearly believed in lifestyle merchandising,” writes Loeb in a post at Forbes.
Francis was forced to take the blame for Johnson because he was the one who executed it, Loeb told the Financial Times.
Francis was handpicked by Johnson to oversee the brand revamp at JCPenney, and he came into the job as a very well-respected marketer. He’s the one credited with the development of the Target brand, which has grown into one of the best in all of retail.
JCPenney remains tight-lipped about the circumstances of Francis’ departure. Johnson and his execs have been totally silent.
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