Marvin Ellison Becomes First Black CEO of J.C. Penney

Marvin Ellison Becomes First Black CEO of J.C. Penney

The current executive vice president at Home Depot Inc. will take the helm in August 2015.

Published October 15, 2014

 (Photo: AP Photo/Home Depot Inc.)

After a search that took more than a year, J.C. Penney has hired Marvin Ellison as the company’s new chief executive officer, making him the first minority to fill that role in J.C. Penney’s 112-year history, BuzzFeed reports.

Ellison, 49, will work as president and CEO-designee starting next month until his official takeover on Aug. 1 of next year. At that time, he will become one of only six Black CEOs leading a Fortune 500 company and one of two in the retail industry, joining Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer.

The retail veteran has about 30 years of experience in the industry and is the current executive vice president at Home Depot Inc.

According to CNBC, analysts have praised his operational background at the big-box retailer, where he spearheaded the launch of its "ship from store and buy online, pick up in store programs.”

"It is a great pleasure to welcome Marvin Ellison to JCPenney,” wrote the company’s current CEO Mike Ullman in a statement. "Over the course of his career, he has proven his ability to produce results by improving operations, building customer loyalty, and motivating his teams. His experience and leadership are exactly what we need to accelerate the progress we have made over the last 18 months.”

J.C. Penney has reportedly tasked Ellison with fixing the highly unsuccessful changes made during former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson’s tenure that caused the company billions in losses and drove away customers.

Ellison will also receive a one-time cash signing bonus of $4.14 million, with an annual base salary set at $1.3 million and eligibility for an annual bonus of up to $3.9 million.

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Written by Patrice Peck


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