NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- J. C. Penney (JCP - Get Report) CEO Ron Johnson comes off as a likeable guy. All it takes is a quick glance at the presentation he gave investors in January to figure that out.
Near the beginning of his speech, Johnson tells the story of going to Steve Jobs's house to inform him he would be leaving Apple (AAPL - Get Report) to take a new gig. When Johnson told him he was headed to J. C. Penney, Jobs asked him -- paraphrasing here -- if he was crazy.
Johnson made a connection between Target (TGT), Apple and J. C. Penney. Follow this logic: According to Johnson, when he left Target for Apple, people thought he was nuts because Target was doing great and Apple not so much. And now, yet again, he chose to leave a company at the top of its game for one facing considerable headwinds.Johnson pointed out, however, that it was not quite the same situation. J. C. Penney is in better shape today than Apple was when he moved to Cupertino. Johnson further made the incredibly optimistic leap that, on his watch, J. C. Penney would go on the same trajectory as Apple did between 2000 and 2011. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. If we use stock price as a gauge, we can expect JCP to appreciate by approximately 1,600%. Using Tuesday's closing price of $35.67, that type of pop would put JCP at about $606 a share come 2023. I realize the unfair lunacy of this projection, but Johnson appeared to be quite serious when he set this expectation for himself.