J.C. Penney Ex-CEO Ron Johnson Didn’t Get Severance Pay
March 10, 2014

Ron Johnson, the former J.C. Penney chief executive who was ousted last year after a controversial attempt to modernize the retail chain, didn't receive severance when he left the company. Johnson and Chief Talent Officer Daniel Walker, who also resigned in April 2013, both didn't receive severance payments, according to a company filing yesterday. Michael Kramer, the former chief operating officer, did get a payout, though the company reduced his termination agreement by $1 million. He was paid a total of $2.35 million last year. The lack of severance serves as an endnote to Johnson's tumultuous career at J.C. Penney.

Nike CEO: Retail ‘Correction’ Taking Place
March 7, 2014

The recent holiday season provided an example of a consumer-driven "correction" taking place in the retail industry, Nike CEO Mark Parker told CNBC on Thursday, and that's created a big priority for the sneaker and athletics company. "Obviously there's a huge appetite from a consumer standpoint for digital products — e-commerce, digitally based commerce I should say," Parker said during an interview on "Squawk on the Street." "We'll see that continue. This holiday was a great example of how the consumer is shifting, not only to digital but mobile-based digital commerce."

RadioShack Offers Execs Retention Bonuses
March 6, 2014

RadioShack said Wednesday its board approved retention bonuses of up to $1.49 million combined for top executives, aiming to keep its leadership in place during the company's turnaround. Executives are entitled to a bonus if they remain employed by RadioShack through March 1, 2015. Chief Executive Joseph Magnacca is in line to receive $500,000. The remaining funds would go to Chief Financial Officer John W. Feray, Human Resources Chief Telvin P. Jeffries, Executive Vice President of Store Operations Troy H. Risch and Senior Vice President of Store Concepts Michael S. DeFazio.

Target Tech Chief Resigns as it Overhauls Security
March 6, 2014

Target Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob is resigning as the retailer overhauls its information security and compliance division in the wake of a massive pre-Christmas data breach. Target Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement released to The Associated Press that the company will search for an interim chief information officer who can help guide the company through the transformation. Jacob had been in her current role since 2008 and oversaw teams in the U.S. and India. 

Is RadioShack the Next Circuit City?
March 5, 2014

Following a disappointing holiday season, expectations were low ahead of RadioShack's fourth-quarter report. But the results were a shock, raising concerns about its chances for survival in today's marketplace. RadioShack's Chief Executive Joseph Magnacca, along with the company's new CFO John Feray, sought to reassure investors. Feray, who joined in January, said on a call that RadioShack, which plans to shut up to 1,100 stores, isn't considering "prepackaged bankruptcy" to get out of store leases quickly. He added RadioShack has "sufficient liquidity to meet its obligations" this year. 

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Steps on Some Toes as He Remakes Downtown Vegas
March 3, 2014

He's a painfully private entrepreneur with very public dreams for this city's decaying downtown core. Around Sin City, giddy officials are heralding online shoe retailer Tony Hsieh as a visionary, the latest in a line of moneyed Las Vegas dreamers such as billionaire Howard Hughes and casino mogul Steve Wynn. Mayor Carolyn Goodman says Hsieh is offering people a chance to open their dream businesses, and "that can't be bad." 

Best Buy Job Cuts Target 2,000 Managers Around U.S.
February 28, 2014

Best Buy apparently told about 2,000 managers around the United States on Wednesday that they were being laid off, a move that would be the company's biggest job reduction since July 2012 as it continues to cut costs following a weaker-than-expected holiday season. The layoffs will affect about 1.4 percent of Best Buy's 145,000-person workforce, the Star Tribune learned. 

All is Not Lost at J.C. Penney as 2014 Gets Underway
February 27, 2014

The long-awaited earnings release and conference call of J.C. Penney's annual sales and earnings result yesterday gave an outline of the strategies the company will follow in order to be a winner. The 2013 results were impacted by the folly of the Ron Johnson era. There was merchandise that consumers didn't want that had to be marked down in order to make room for iconic brands that had been discontinued. The company's performance was also affected, as were all retailers, by the brutal weather that forced the closing of dozens of stores throughout the Central and Northern states. 

Carl Icahn, eBay Trade Accusations
February 25, 2014

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn and eBay are engaging in a public war of words that was ignited by an open letter Icahn sent to eBay shareholders yesterday. In the letter, Icahn accused eBay CEO John Donahoe of ignoring conflicts of interest on its board and called for the company to spin off PayPal. Icahn also disclosed he now owns 2.15 percent of eBay's stock. The letter specifically alleged that board member Marc Andreesseen has personally gained by purchasing large stakes in former eBay subsidiaries and advised and invested in direct eBay competitors Boku, Coinbase, Dwolla, Jumio and Fab.

Wal-Mart and The Container Store Have Something Surprising in Common
February 24, 2014

The Container Store started a fund for employees in need and got a lot of pats on the back. A Wal-Mart store took up donations for employees in need during the holidays, and was pilloried for the effort. Two companies with two identical goals have two very different outcomes. What gives?