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J. C. Penney Company Inc. Names Michael W. Kramer Chief Operating Officer

Texas Business reports:  PLANO—J. C. Penney Company Inc. named Michael W. Kramer as  chief operating officer, effective Dec. 5, 2011.

In this role, Kramer will be responsible for finance, investor relations, corporate strategy, and information technology.

He will report to chief executive Ron Johnson.

Kramer is a seasoned retail executive with nearly 20 years of executive leadership experience and a track record of building highly innovative organizations focused on emerging consumer trends and markets.

Since 2008, he has been president and chief executive officer of Kellwood Company, where he oversaw a portfolio of premier fashion brands, including Scotch & Soda, Vince, Rebecca Taylor, ADAM, BLK DNM, David Meister and XOXO, among many others. 

Prior to that, he was executive vice president and chief financial officer at Abercrombie & Fitch. From 2000 to 2005, he was at Apple Inc., where, as chief financial officer of Apple Retail, he worked directly under Johnson.

“Mike is an extremely talented executive, and I am thrilled to be working with him again,” Johnson said in a prepared statement. “In building our senior management team, we have targeted leaders, like Mike, with imagination as well as deep and diverse skills.  His long experience in senior operational and financial positions at leading retailers, as well as his most recent role as the CEO of a large, diversified wholesale company serving the department and specialty store industry, makes him uniquely well-suited for this role. Mike will help ensure that J. C. Penney is a strong partner to our suppliers, which will be essential to our success as we set out to re-imagine the department store experience.”

“J. C. Penney is the most exciting opportunity in retail today, and I am honored to be joining the talented management team that will be moving the company forward,” said Kramer in a statement. “I am eager to begin working with them and our associates to find new ways to transform J. C. Penney into America's favorite store.

Kramer, 47, also held key financial leadership roles at The Limited, Pizza Hut, and Einstein Noah Bagel Corporation. He received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in 1987 and is a certified public accountant.

 J. C. Penney Company, Inc., one of America's leading retailers, operates over 1,100 jcpenney department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, jcp.com.