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Ron Johnson

JCPenney may be struggling, but its CEO still brims with optimism, said Maria Halkias in The Dallas Morning News. The department-store chain’s sales plummeted last year as Ron Johnson, the former Apple executive who started at JCPenney in November 2011, worked to rebuild the floundering company’s image. He is sticking to his plans to convert the 110-year-old department store into a collection of branded shops that feature names including Levi’s, Izod, Liz Claiborne, and Martha Stewart. “The first year was tougher than I expected, but I would do it over in a heartbeat,” said Johnson. “Our courage to disrupt made us stronger.”

But Johnson is also taking some heat, said James Covert in the New York Post. The JCPenney boss—whose résumé includes revitalizing Target and engineering the explosive growth of Apple’s retail operations—supposedly spends just four days a week, “if that much,” at the company’s Plano, Texas, headquarters. He commutes on a private jet from his home in Palo Alto, Calif., and spends the week at a swanky Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dallas, all on the company’s dime. “If he’s doing this huge transformation,” asked one former executive, “why isn’t he there 12 hours a day helping everybody get things done?” 

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