Call J.C. Penney Co. Inc. the Pied Piper. The retailer is luring more executives from top retailers its way as it begins to execute on CEO Ron Johnson’s multi-year plan to overhaul stores and redefine the J.C. Penney brand.
Brian Robinson, most recently director of fashion and design partnerships at Target Corp., is among the latest retail veterans to join J.C. Penney. Robinson, who led the site-breaking Missoni for Target brand initiative for Target last year, is the second high-profile Target executive to head to J.C. Penney. Michael Francis, now J.C. Penney’s president, left his role as Target’s chief marketing officer last year.
J.C. Penney is No. 20 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Target is No. 22.
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Johnson, who prior to joining J.C. Penney last year, worked more than 15 years at Target before leading the retail division of Apple Inc., in January put forth his plan to improve stores, simplify pricing and revamp marketing. Meanwhile, Target’s e-retail business has struggled after it launched a redesigned web site on a different e-commerce platform last fall.
Apple veteran Mike Fisher also joins J.C. Penney as senior vice president of visual presentation. Fisher is charged with overseeing the retailer’s new store experience, J.C. Penney says. Apple Inc. is No. 3 in the Top 500 Guide. Anne Cashill, late of No. 164-ranked Coach Inc., joins the retailer as senior vice president of strategic brands. She was vice president of merchandising at the handbag manufacturer and e-retailer.
J.C. Penney also announced the hires of Steve Seabolt as senior vice president of brand alliances and Eric Hunter as senior vice president of marketing. Seabolt comes from video game creator Electronic Arts, where he was vice president of global brand partnerships. Hunter comes from the Kellwood Co., where he was chief marketing officer for several of the manufacturer’s apparel brands. Michael W. Kramer, J.C. Penney’s chief operating officer, also left Kellwood to join the retailer late last year. He was Kellwood’s CEO.