hiring Target's former CMO, JCP is cutting him loose. In a terse statement issued late Monday, JCP gave no reason for the abrupt departure of Michael Francis, a top Target executive brought in last October to help redefine the store's brand.. As president, Francis was responsible for the marketing of a controversial new pricing plan that aimed to get rid of hundreds of sales events. He also oversaw merchandising and product development.
JCP has stated that their CEO, Ron Johnson, will assume direct responsibility and oversight of the company's marketing and merchandising functions. The surprise move comes as the department store chain is scrambling to reverse a sharp drop in customer counts and plummeting sales after JCP’s new pricing strategy – introduced on Feb. 1st – ended up turning off customers, who are accustomed to coupons and big markdowns.