J.C. Penney CEO’s Salary Slashed by More Than 96 Percent in 2012

J.C. Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson, who oversaw the company’s nearly $1 billion loss in fiscal year 2012, had his pay slashed to $1.9 million last year—a 96.4 percent cut.  

Johnson received $1.5 million in base salary and $388,587 in other compensation, including use of the company’s aircraft. He made only $375,000 in base salary when he took over as the company’s CEO in 2011 but also received $53 million worth of stock options.

Nothing the former Apple retail chief has done since taking the reins of the venerable department store has brought about the transformation he envisioned early in his tenure. Customers reacted poorly to J.C. Penney’s “fair and square” pricing that reduced its number of sales from 590 to 12; a plan to eliminate cash registers by 2013 further alienated loyal older shoppers; and the company thinks staff attrition is hurting its longterm future.

After saying that it wouldn’t change its strategy, the department store brought back coupons and discounts in December 2012. However, in a March 21 filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, J.C. Penney said that plans to turn around its fortunes might not succeed in the near future

None of the company’s top executives received a cash bonus in 2012. According to an article in The New York Times, analysts still think Johnson will be given “at least a couple of quarters” to turn things around. Earlier last month, a report in The Wall Street Journal said if J.C. Penney doesn’t recover, it could be sold—or Johnson could be replaced.

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