J.C. Penney takes on an Apple shine with new executive hires

November 14, 2011 03:37 PM

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has a new head of operations and also human resources, each of whom worked with the retailer’s new CEO, Ron Johnson, when he was senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc.

Michael W. Kramer will start his job as chief operating officer Dec. 5 and will oversee information technology, finance, investor relations and corporate strategy for the retail chain. Since 2008, Kramer had worked as president and chief executive officer of Kellwood Co., the parent company of urban apparel brand Phat Fashions LLC, No. 334 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

From 2000 to 2005, Kramer was chief financial officer of the retail arm of Apple, where he worked directly under Johnson.

"Mike is an extremely talented executive, and I am thrilled to be working with him again," Johnson says. "His long experience in senior operational and financial positions at leading retailers, as well as his most recent role as the CEO of a large, diversified wholesale company serving the department and specialty store industry, makes him uniquely well-suited for this role.”

J.C. Penney also announced today that Daniel Walker will become the retail chain’s new chief talent officer this week and will be in charge of all human resource functions. Like Kramer, Walker will report to Johnson.

Walker also worked under Johnson as chief talent officer at Apple Inc. from 2000 to 2004. There, he built and led the global human resources team during the launch of the iPod and iTunes, an applications division at the company and the Apple retail stores, J.C. Penney says. From 1985 to 1992, Walker was vice president of human resources at Gap Inc.

"Dan is a dynamic executive with a remarkable track record of transforming the talent profiles of companies that have gone on to redefine their industries,” Johnson says. “Having worked with him during five years of enormous growth at Apple, I know that he has the vision and energy to help us redefine the department store shopping experience at J. C. Penney."

J.C. Penney, No. 20 in the Top 500 Guide, named Johnson as CEO in June, and he assumed his new position Nov. 1.

Gap is No. 24 in the Top 500 Guide and Apple is No. 3.




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