"I think people are going to look at the Ron Johnson legacy and say, this was a guy who came from a place like Apple, where it was a product-specialized place and that you couldn't do that at JCPenney, even though it seemed like a great idea," EmergingMoney.com's Tim Seymour said. "Traders, obviously, trading this news and should be."
Mike Ullman, a former JC Penney CEO, was named to lead the company in the interim.
Since Johnson took the helm of the retailer on Nov. 1, 2011, its shares are down 51 percent, with revenues down over the last four quarters an average of 24 percent from year-ago levels.
The next step for the struggling retailer, which posted losses for each of the last four quarters, remained unknown, said Brian Kelly of Shelter Harbor Capital.
"Now the question for JCPenney is: What's next?" he said. "I wouldn't go out running and buying JCPenney just because Ron Johnson is out because I don't know what's left of the company after that."
Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso said he would wait to see what JCP stock does on Tuesday.
"I would probably take your profit if it's still popped," he said. "I don't think it will be."