J.C. Penney Names Questrom CEO

Thursday, July 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) — J.C. Penney Co. has named Allen Questrom, head of upscale retailer Barneys New York, its next chairman and chief executive.

Questrom will take over the struggling retailer Sept. 15.

Shares of Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney, which operates JCPenney Stores, the Eckerd Drug Store chain and well as the JCPenney catalog and Internet retailing businesses, jumped 17 percent on the news.

``J.C. Penney is one of the legendary names in American retailing,'' Questrom said in a prepared statement. ``The desire to succeed is extremely strong here, and I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to lead the company.''

The change in leadership comes as the retailer struggles to get its business back on track. Penney has closed many underperforming stores, sold some non-core businesses, overhauled merchandise buying and hired more outside executives.

Analysts have criticized the retailer for reacting slowly to competition from trendier competitors, including Kohl's and Old Navy.

Penney's stock, which has lost about two-thirds of its value in the past 12 months, was up $2.50 to $17.375 on in early trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Questrom has more than 30 years in the retail industry, including a nine-year stint as chairman and CEO of Federated Department Stores. Questrom, 60, is credited with leading both Barneys and Federated out of bankruptcy.

Questrom succeeds James E. Oesterreicher, who announced his retirement May 4. In a prepared statement, Oesterreicher praised his successor for his accomplishments in leading previous companies from bankruptcy into profitability.

``I am delighted that he will be working with our management and associates, and developing a culture of success that will benefit all of our constituents — our customers, associates and, of course, our shareholders,'' Oesterreicher wrote.

While at Federated, Questrom also held CEO positions at Bullock's in Los Angeles and Rich's in Atlanta. He also sits on several corporate boards, including Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, AEA Investors and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

J.C. Penney, which has more than 290,000 employees in the United States and Latin America, had fiscal 2000 sales of $32.5 billion.

Barneys had fiscal 2000 sales of $367 million.