Friday, August 12, 2022 Aug 12, 2022
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Business

They Fiddled While J.C. Penney Burned

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During the short, unhappy reign of Ron Johnson at Plano-based J.C. Penney Co., nearly 20,000 employees lost their jobs, sales plummeted and the company’s stock dropped through the floor. While Johnson was eventually given the hook as CEO, most members of the Penney board of directors—who sat back and watched the debacle unfold—continued to draw handsome compensation for their, er, service. North Texans know at least four of them well.

According to a 2013 SEC filing, for example, board chairman Thomas J. Engibous (former chair of Texas Instruments) raked in a total of $328,762 for his Penney board work in fiscal 2012. Colleen Barrett (president emeritus, Southwest Airlines) pulled down $225,012. Leonard H. Roberts (ex-RadioShack CEO) made $239,298. And R. Gerald Turner (president of Southern Methodist University) took home $235,012. Pretty nice work, if you can get it. In the November issue of D CEO, Joseph Guinto examines whether this board shouldn’t shoulder just a tad bit more accountability for the disaster.