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Lowe’s Makes a Good CEO Hire, Ignore the JC Penney Years

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Earlier this morning, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW) announced that it was hiring J C Penny Company Inc.’s (JCP) CEO Marvin R. Ellison as its President and CEO, effective July 2.

While many investors may immediately write this hire off, since JC Penney is running neck and neck with Sears (SHLD) for least favorite retail stock, this is actually a very good hire for Lowe’s, because before Mr. Ellison decided to try and save JC Penney from late 2014 until now, he worked for Home Depot Inc. (HD) for 12 years from 2002 to 2014. Frankly, I am not sure anyone could have saved JC Penney.  The highest position Mr. Ellison held at Home Depot was Executive Vice President of U.S. Stores, and he was one of the frontrunners to take over as CEO following Frank Blake’s retirement, but Craig Menear ended up getting the job.  So we view this as a positive for Lowe’s, despite the negative reaction in the stock (down 1% after being up).

-JP Gravitt

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