This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Stop the Bleeding At JCP: Fire Ron Johnson

Stocks in this article: JCP AAPL TGT SNE

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In mid-August, I named J.C. Penney's (JCP) Ron Johnson 2012's Most Delusional CEO.

At about $22.90 (and long before), I urged investors to "Sell His Stock Now."

With JCP set to languish in the teens, Ron Johnson should become one of 2013's first-fired CEOs. The company needs a visionary who can abandon the long-failed department store concept and come up with something that's actually different.

J.C. Penney must disband and regroup, morphing into an organism completely unrecognizable to itself and its customers. Like an oldies radio station ditching the format for hard rock, it will scare away much of its remaining base; however, it has no choice. The same old retail toolbag Johnson continues to pull from hasn't worked for longer than awhile.

At some level, Johnson has something in common with Apple's (AAPL) most ardent bulls.

I'm talking about the people who ripped me all year long for warning about Apple's prospects without Steve Jobs. Suddenly, the Can Apple maintain its magic w/o Jobs? storyline leads almost every media headline and analyst commentary.

For more than a year, AAPL bulls, desperately not wanting the dream to die, blew off the realities a Steve Jobs-less, Tim Cook-led Apple faces. They wanted it both ways. However, over the long term (I still believe in AAPL the stock over the next 3-6 months minimum), they can't have it both ways. It's too complicated for such psychologically comfortable simplicity.

The same type of dynamic doomed Johnson at J.C. Penney from the beginning.

When JCP hired him, the move duped me just like everybody else. But then I saw Johnson speak (via JCP investor relations) shortly after getting the gig at a big analyst powwow in New York.

You're being nice if you label his presentation narcissistic and egomaniacal. You spare the man's feelings if you called him deranged while watching. And you're not being critical enough if you give his performance the benefit of the doubt.

Johnson allowed his experience at Apple to give him a false impression of himself.

Finally, the rest of the world catches on: Steve Jobs made the magic at Apple. Not Tim Cook. Not "Jony" I hate when people who don't know him call him by his first name Ive. And certainly not Ron Johnson.

Even though some AAPL bulls put it in the back of their minds, few people misunderstand the impact Jobs had on those around him. Even if he was a total jerk in the process, he willed people to reach a level they likely would have never achieved without his presence and prodding.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,959.44 +154.64 0.87%
S&P 500 2,078.54 +7.89 0.38%
NASDAQ 4,781.4240 +16.0440 0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs