By Dow Jones Business News, October 09, 2013, 08:25:00 AM EDT
Saks Inc. ( SKS ) Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen Sadove will join J.C. Penney Co.'s ( JCP ) board following the
completion of Saks' takeover by Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC.T), replacing current board member Geraldine B. Laybourne, who is
His appointment comes as two high-profile directors, William Ackman and Steven Roth, the chief executive of Vornado
Realty Trust (VNO), have left Penney's board in recent months. The company was expected to appoint a new director with
retail experience as it seeks help with its turnaround and to stem a steep slide in sales.
Luxury retailer Saks disclosed last month that Mr. Sadove planned to leave the company following its merger with
Hudson's Bay. The deal, initially valued at about $2.8 billion, is expected to close by year's end. Mr. Sadove's
election to Penney's board is effective upon his leaving Saks.
"Under his leadership, Steve built luxury retail chain Saks Fifth Avenue into one of the world's most prominent
fashion retailers today," said Penney Chairman Thomas Engibous. "He also boasts a distinguished marketing and consumer
products career spanning over 25 years. Steve is an outstanding addition to our board and we look forward to leveraging
his expertise as we focus on guiding the turnaround at J.C. Penney."
Mr. Sadove joined Saks' management team as vice chairman in 2002, assumed the additional post of chief operating
officer in 2004 and became CEO in 2006. He took on the chairman title in 2007. Penney noted that Mr. Sadove helped to
elevate Saks' service levels, differentiate its merchandise assortment, invest in technology and investments in saks.com
and strengthen its store base.
Penney said Ms. Laybourne's departure from the board allows her to focus more time as chairman of KANDU, a startup
consumer technology company for kids.
Penney is struggling to overcome a year-and-a-half under former Chief Executive Ron Johnson. Mr. Johnson cut back
discounts and did away with some popular house brands without first testing the moves, which drove away shoppers and
plunged the company into the red.
However, Penney on Tuesday reported improving sales trends in September and said it's "making solid progress" in its
turnaround efforts, with its core customer reconnecting with the department store, especially during promotional events.
Penney shares were up 1.9% to $7.92 in recent premarket trading. Through Tuesday's close, the stock is down 61% since
the start of the year.
Write to Nathalie Tadena at email@example.com
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