‘Turnaround Kid’ Says Microsoft Should Learn From J.C. Penney’s Mistakes

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Steve Ballmer

American International Group (NYSE:AIG) Chair Steve Miller has said that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) needs to be mindful not to compete the mistakes of J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) in looking for a new CEO and attempting to revitalize its business.

Miller has spent his career helping to revive struggling companies and titled his autobiography The Turnaround Kid. He spoke about Microsoft’s efforts to turn itself around in a Bloomberg TV interview with Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker on Friday. “What must terrify them is the example, say, of J.C. Penney,” Miller said of Microsoft. “They decided they needed to change, they brought in Ron Johnson, did a radical shift in their whole strategy, and it was a complete failure.”

Ron Johnson was scooped up by J.C. Penney as the store looked to change its image amidst a tough retail landscape. Johnson rid the department store of discounts, got rid of merchandise, and restructured Penney’s to look like a collection of boutiques within a larger store. The results were disastrous and Johnson was fired in April. Things haven’t gotten much better since. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into the company’s finances after a share offering to raise $810 million was announced and bankruptcy rumors have been piling up.

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