J.C. Penney's CFO Takes A Bow - Loving Someone Else's Style?

| About: J.C. Penney (JCP)

By Katey Stapleton

It was announced yesterday that J.C. Penney's (JCP) Chief Financial Officer, Michael Dastugue, is leaving his position after only 15 months. Among many managerial changeups over the past year or so, this most recent abandonment has left stockholders to question who will next fill the hot potato position.

JCP saw an unusual 3% share climb today following the departure news, tipping to investors and analysts that the retail monstrosity may be on the hunt for someone who will fit more comfortably within the revamped, simplified business model Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson is trying to create.

Speculation aside, Johnson did offer words of encouragement for his colleague's parting.

"We thank Michael for his many years of service at J.C. Penney. Over his 20-year career, Michael served in a variety of finance roles of increasing responsibility, culminating with his appointment as chief financial officer. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors," the CEO said in a statement released yesterday morning.

In place of Dastugue, fairly new Chief Operating Officer Mike Kramer will step up to fulfill the CFO requirements until a suitable replacement can be found.

Meanwhile, it is clear that research firms have taken notice of the management shift, as UBS was busy initiating coverage on the sector yesterday. Analysts set a $36 PT for JCP with a Neutral rating.

As of late, JCP is not only transforming the way it does business, but is transitioning who is in charge. In January, the company named Kristen Blum to the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer positions. Two months later, Laura Beja Miller was placed in an Executive Vice President position as well. Back in October, Michael R. Francis was announced as President of JCP, while the company snatched up Johnson from his position at Apple (AAPL) in June.

There is no telling where the company may pluck from next, but those in high-powered positions across the retail industry may be receiving a phone call soon. Industry, look out! JCP is on the prowl.

J.C. Penney is currently trading at $34.33, down -2.33% YTD.

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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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