Breaking News from CNBC's Scott Wapner: J.C. Penney Initiates Search for New CEO, Replacing Interim CEO Mike Ullman
WHEN: TODAY, THURSDAY, AUGUST 8TH
WHERE: CNBC'S "SQUAWK ON THE STREET"
Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's Scott Wapner. Following is a link to the article on CNBC.com: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100948492.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
SCOTT WAPNER: SOME BIG NEWS INVOLVING J.C. PENNEY. I HAVE A LETTER IN MY HAND HERE THAT BILL ACKMAN HAS SENT TO THE BOARD OF J.C.PENNEY. HERE ARE THE ITEMS. J.C. PENNEY HAS INITIATED A SEARCH FOR A NEW CEO TO REPLACE INTERIM CEO MIKE ULLMAN. IT IS CLEAR FROM THIS LETTER THAT BILL ACKMAN IS QUITE FRUSTRATED THAT THE SEARCH PROCESS HAS NOT GONE FAST ENOUGH. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO START, ACCORDING TO THE LETTER, BACK IN APRIL. BUT IT WAS ONLY AT THE JULY 22ND BOARD MEETING, NEARLY FOUR MONTHS AFTER THAT, THAT THE BOARD FINALLY AGREED TO MAKE THIS SUCCESSION ISSUE PART OF THE AGENDA. MR. ACKMAN THINKING, ACCORDING TO THE LETTER, THAT A NEW CEO SHOULD BE IN PLACE BETWEEN 30 TO 45 DAYS AND CLEARLY HE IS FRUSTRATED THINKING THAT THIS ENTIRE PROCESS IS GOING TOO SLOW. THE OTHER THE SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT HERE IS THAT BILL ACKMAN SAYS IN THIS LETTER THAT HE HAS GOTTEN ALLEN QUESTROM TO AGREE TO COME BACK AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD. REMEMBER QUESTROM IS THE PAST CEO OF J.C. PENNEY. HE IS CONSIDERED TO BE A RETAILING LEGEND. HE HAS LEAD SEVERAL OF THE NATION'S LARGEST RETAILERS. MR. ACKMAN SAYING IN THIS LETTER THAT QUESTROM HAS AGREED TO COME BACK SO LONG AS HE AGREES WITH THE CHOICE OF WHO THE NEW CEO CANDIDATE WILL BE. OBVIOUSLY, THERE ARE SOME CANDIDATES IN MIND. MR. ACKMAN SAYING IN THIS LETTER, "THERE IS NO REASON THAT THIS PROCESS COULD NOT BE COMPLETED IN THE TIMEFRAME THAT ALLEN RECOMMENDS." AGAIN, THEY WANTED IT TO START IN APRIL. IT WAS ONLY UNTIL THE JULY 22ND BOARD MEETING THAT THE BOARD FINALLY GOT ON BOARD WITH THIS PROCESS. ACCORDING TO THE LAST LINE IN THIS LETTER, AS WE ALL KNOW, WHAT THIS STOCK HAS DONE OF LATE, FALLING TO 12 AND A HALF YEAR LOWS, SAYS SIMPLY, "WE CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT." SO J.C. PENNEY IS LOOKING FOR A NEW CEO TO REPLACE INTERIM CEO MIKE ULLMAN AND ALLEN QUESTROM MOST LIKELY LOOKS LIKE HE WILL BE COMING BACK AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD SO LONG AS THEY CAN AGREE ON WHO THE NEXT CEO WILL BE.
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