JCPenney Taps Target’s Michael Francis as President

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Michael Francis, JCPenney's new president

Plano,TX—In another sign that a new regime is building at JCPenney, the department store retailer announced Monday that Michael Francis, formerly chief marketing officer at Target, will become its president, effective today.

Francis, 48, who will report to Ron Johnson, the Apple retail executive who is the store’s incoming ceo, will be responsible for “all merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, and product development and sourcing functions at a time when the company is focusing on redefining the department store.”

Additionally, In January 2011, he became the executive committee sponsor for TargetCanada, a role in which he oversaw the first-ever extension of Target’s brand beyond theUnited States.

Francis has more than 25 years of merchandising and marketing experience. He spent most of his career at Target, which he helped transform into the nation’s leading upscale discount store, serving as executive vice president and chief marketing officer since 2008. According to Ad Age, Francis oversaw some of  Target’s “best known ad campaigns such as Design for All and Hello Goodbuy, as well as the marketing of designer partnerships with Michael Graves, Liberty of London and, most recently, Missoni.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Michael to our team,” said Johnson who starts Nov 1. “He is an extremely talented executive with the vision and courage to re-imagine the department store experience. His ability to innovate and deep understanding of the industry will be invaluable as we set out to transform J.C. Penney intoAmerica’s favorite store.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back to department store retail,” Francis said. “I began my career working on the sales floor of the State Street Marshall Field’s inChicago. It was there where my passion for retail began and my understanding of the power and potential of the department store was formed. I am delighted to join JCPenney and work with Ron and the talented JCPenney team to help accelerate the momentum already taking place.”

From Marshall Field’s Francis joined Dayton-Hudson Corporation in 1990, when it acquired Marshall Field’s, holding a variety of senior marketing positions in its department store division. He was promoted to executive vice president of Target Corporation in 2001 and chief marketing officer in August 2008. In January 2011, he became the executive committee sponsor for TargetCanada, a role in which he oversaw the first-ever extension of Target’s brand beyond theUnited States.

“Our ability to attract someone of his caliber is a testament to both the progress that the JCPenney brand has made and its potential for further growth,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and ceo, who remains on until February 2012. “Our focus on building merchandise attractions and becoming a destination for discovering great style is taking hold.”

Francis currently serves on the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution and the boards of theCooper-HewittNationalDesignMuseumand The Minneapolis Institute of Art. He is also lead director of Piper Jaffray Companies. He received his bachelor’s degree in international studies from theUniversityofMichigan.

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