Hedge Fund Chief Dumps JCPenney for $490M Loss
Ackman backed policies that led to huge drop in sales
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2013 1:35 AM CDT
Sales at JCPenny plunged after Ron Johnson, Ackman's chosen CEO, brought in new policies including an end to sales.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – After buying a huge stake in JCPenney and backing a disastrous revamp that has left the chain floundering, Bill Ackman has decided he's done with the company. The Pershing Square hedge fund Ackman runs has announced its intention to unload its 18% stake in the company at a price that's about half what it paid a few years ago, a move that will cost the fund around $490 million, USA Today reports. Ackman quit the JCPenney board earlier this month after a conflict with other directors.

Ackman—whose fund was the retailer's biggest shareholder—has made bad bets in the retail industry before, with investments in Target and Borders both souring, the Wall Street Journal notes. "Clearly, retail has not been our strong suit, and this is duly noted," he admitted in a letter to Pershing Square investors last week. Unlike thousands of people who worked at JCPenney before the policies he championed sent sales plunging, however, Ackman still has a job.

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Who_Cares
Aug 27, 2013 4:45 PM CDT
After he blew $490 million, his only job should be mandatory snow shoveling in Alaska. Now you can see they run around chasing that "mighty dollar", caused misery to thousands of people just to blew it off in the end. That's what all of those greedy corporate freaks do, chasing own tail and losing in the end, at the expense of all of us, consumers and employees.
wei2szu
Aug 27, 2013 1:40 PM CDT
"Clearly, retail has not been OUR strong suit, and this is duly noted," there is no "OUR" and "WE" in those decisions...it was "YOU" Mr. A$$hole who purchased 18% with all your fund holders' money. But, "YOU" still get to keep your job? Wouldn't be surprised if "I" and "WE" aren't reading "YOUR" obituary sometime very soon.
Scaramouche
Aug 27, 2013 3:54 AM CDT
"Unlike thousands of people who worked at JCPenney before the policies he championed sent sales plunging, however, Ackman still has a job." DUH!