Symbolism and Penney’s Ron Johnson

When your sales are plummeting, your stock price is down, and you’ve laid off 20,000 or so employees, is it really the smartest thing for a company chief executive to carry on with a jet-setting, high-living lifestyle? The author of this article about Ron Johnson, CEO at the beleaguered, Plano-based retailer JCPenney, doesn’t think so, if only for the symbolism’s sake.

Johnson, who never has relocated to the Dallas area, commutes between here and his Northern California digs in a private jet. And when he’s here in DFW, he reportedly hangs his hat at the super-posh Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Dallas. It’s enough to make you say: Hey, if you’ve got something against living in the community with your workers, Ron, there’s a perfectly good Homewood Suites near LBJ in the Park-Central area.


  • MattR

    There’s a very nice Marriot at The Shops at Legacy right across the Tollway from the JCP headquarters

  • Edward

    I would consider shopping at JCPenney with some of the new lines they are carrying, EXCEPT for actions just like this. It’s reprehensible that Johnson has decimated the sales staffs at stores and support areas while cutting salaries of the people who are left, laid off hundreds at corporate headquarters, etc., while living a very lavish lifestyle himself.

    It’s as tone deaf as some of the actions taken by Miles, the new head of DISD.

    How can he expect to lead the front lines (the people who actually WORK in the stores) after treating them so shabbily, all the while racking up millions of dollars and living life in the 1%. He should be embarrassed.

    • Vman

      Have you been considering shopping there for the last year and now decide not to because of this info?

    • marisa

      Are we certain he works for JCP and not the Federal Govt????

  • CSP

    Is this a common arrangement?

  • Tomas

    Oh, the outrage! It’s hard remaking a relic of the 20th century.

  • Don Montalvo

    I have confidence in Ron Johnson, having seen how he took a company that was about to die, and turned it around to become one of the most successful companies in the world. Apple didn’t turn around overnight, it took years, and it took a good team who stayed the course. Ron brings tons of proven experience and success to the table. JCPenney would be foolish to jump ship. I speak from first hand experience, dumping my Apple stock when I thought there was no chance the company would turn around. If I had known about Ron Johnson back then, I would have held on and I’d be rich today. Don Montalvo, TX

    • Avid Reader

      I must have missed something; when did JCPenny turn around?

    • JSSS

      I wish I had a cool name like Don Montalvo. Really. I imagine introducing myself, using a Gloria Campos accent. I would be the latin James Bond — Montalvo, Don Montalvo. One magarita, por favor, shaken, not stirred.

    • SDM

      Don….I think a guy named Steve Jobs may have a bit more to do with turning around AAPL than RJ. Ron made the stroes nice and shiny, but tha’ts about the extent of it. He will soon find out (if he hasn’t already) that JCP doesn’t have a Steve Jobs like influence to back him up. Oh, he does have Joe Fresh, tho.

  • Ronald

    He’s rich from Apple stock guys!

  • Karl

    You’re obviously a moron. I work for the federal government, and I have to worry about getting laid off. But, by all means keep floating this line of BS because all government employees are lazy and overpaid. Why not share what you provide for society, you uneducated loser.

  • karl

    ha ha ha Marisa – what services do you provide for the citizens of this great country?

  • DDD

    I think Don was saying that Ron Johnson turned around Apple. He may have been involved in the turnaround but he was not the main reason (Steve Jobs). The bottom line is that since Ron has taken over at JCP everything has tanked. JCP was not doing well when he took it over and since then everything has been much worse. It is all about increasing sales and your stock price. He has failed miserably in both areas since coming to JCP.

  • Edward

    I like some of the new lines they are carrying (Jonathan Adler, Conran, etc.) and there is a Penney’s near me. But even before the information came out about how Johnson didn’t bother to move here combined with his extravagant lifestyle, I was definitely “down” on Penney’s after they let go so many employees who had worked there for years, both store personnel and at the corporate offices.

    As recent articles have shown about Trader Joe’s, Costco, and other companies, treating your employees right pays off. I prefer to do business with companies that value their employees.