News Column

Ackman Steps Down From J.C. Penney Board

August 13, 2013
jc penney
J.C. Penney store (file photo)

U.S. retailer J.C. Penney Co., said hedge fund manager William Ackman has resigned from its board and that it would add two new directors.

The board named Ronald Tysoe, a former executive at Federation Department Stores Inc., as a new member and said it would name another soon.

In announcing Ackman's departure, the board publicly declared it had "overwhelming support" for Chairman Thomas Engibous and Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman.

Ackman had been making the case that both Engibous and Ullman should leave the board. He is the company's largest stockholder with an 18 percent share of the company that has 1,100 stores and 116,000 employees.

Ackman, however, has lost $600 million on his J.C. Penney investment,

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

In a statement, Ackman said leaving the board was the most constructive option at this time.

The board is left with Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust, who has also been a dissenting voice on the board in recent months. But a source close to the matter said Roth did not take sides in the discussions concerning Ackman and that he did not discuss his own future with the company.

The feud between Ackman and other board members went public last week, as Ackman released a letter criticizing the board for not firing the CEO.

Engibous responded, saying in statements released to the press that Ackman's claims were "misleading, inaccurate and counterproductive."

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Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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