J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) News: Bill Ackman’s Resignation, Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) & More

Editor’s Note: Related tickers:  J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)

Bill Ackman PERSHING SQUAREAckman Resigns From J.C. Penney’s Board (WSJ)
When activist investor William Ackman dialed into a meeting of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)‘s board late Sunday afternoon, some of his fellow directors were waiting with a message. The hedge-fund manager, they said, had breached his boardroom duties by disclosing confidential information about the company’s CEO search and financial condition, a person familiar with the discussions said. Following that discussion, Mr. Ackman offered to resign, the person said. His resignation, the details of which were hammered out by lawyers in negotiations that stretched into early Tuesday morning, brought an end to an unusually public conflict among directors that had threatened the…

J.C. Penney Shareholders Still Need Ackman (Fool)
Bill Ackman was clamoring for attention once again this past week. The hedge fund manager and activist investor stirred up a storm about replacing J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) CEO Myron Ullman just four months after he was tapped to step in for Ron Johnson, the former CEO hand-picked by Ackman whose tenure was nothing less than a disaster. During his year-and-a-half at the helm, sales plummeted 25% as his turnaround strategy alienated J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s loyal customers. Ackman, whose Pershing Square Fund is J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s largest shareholder, with an 18% stake, resigned his seat on the board after apparently leaking a private letter calling for a new CEO, stirring animosity from his fellow board members, other J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) shareholders, and even Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz, who called it “despicable.”

Angry parents say J.C. Penney ad promotes bullying (CNN)
The ad features a group of children with voice-over from a mom who has to buy clothes for her son’s upcoming school year. She says, “This stuff can make or break your entire year.” The narration airs over a shot with a pre-teen boy sheepishly looking around as he sits alone at a school lunch table. Dozens of parents have taken to J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s Facebook page to say that the commercial promotes bullying, because it shows a child sitting alone based on the clothes he is wearing. “Every day kids are made fun of [for] what they do or do not have…and your ad has just added one more thing that a child can be bullied about,” JoAnn Robertson posted.

J.C. Penney Activism Can Work: Blair (Bloomberg TV)

J. C. PENNEY’S MARTHA STEWART MISTAKE (NewYorker)
The early covers of Martha Stewart Living magazine, in the nineteen-nineties, featured Stewart’s name in bold type and photos of the namesake herself, frosted hair lacquered in place, arranging sunflowers or canoeing past russet-leaved trees. …While M.S.L.O. struggles to find its identity and its business model beyond Stewart, who turned seventy-two earlier this month, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has multiplied its bets on the domestic artist and her company. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)—whose sales dropped more than four billion dollars last year—has staked its turnaround, in large part, on remodelling its home departments to showcase new, Martha Stewart–branded merchandise: sixty-five-dollar serving bowls, thirty-seven-dollar muffin pans, thirty-dollar pastel-hued bath towels.

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