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Exclusive: J.C. Penney CTO Out As Purge Of Former Apple Execs Continues

Kristen Blum, J.C. Penney’s chief technology officer since January 2012, is the latest ex-Apple executive to leave the company after former CEO Ron Johnson was fired in April.

Kristen Blum, J.C. Penney’s chief technology officer, has left the retailer, the latest in a string of exits following the firing of ex-Apple retail chief Ron Johnson in April, people familiar with the matter told Buzzfeed on condition of anonymity.

Blum was a big hire for the company in January 2012, arriving from PepsiCo where she was chief information officer of enterprise transformation. Prior to that, she worked at Abercrombie & Fitch after four years as a director in supply chain solutions and international retail at Apple.

Calls and e-mails to J.C. Penney for comment weren’t immediately returned.

Other top executives with Apple experience that have departed after Johnson was fired and replaced with his predecessor Mike Ullman include Dan Walker, the former chief talent officer, and Michael Kramer, the former chief operating officer. Blum reported to Kramer.

Blum was responsible for J.C. Penney’s website, which was weak even before Johnson’s arrival. Internet sales at J.C. Penney plunged 33% to $1.02 billion in its latest year, performing even worse than the struggling department-store company’s physical stores, which saw revenue drop 25%.

Ullman said in a conference call last month that fixing J.C. Penney’s online storefront was a top priority.

Blum is still listed on J.C. Penney’s leadership portion of its website. The departure follows last month’s exit of Eric Hunter, an SVP of marketing, and a cutback in involvement from consultant Sergio Zyman, as reported by Buzzfeed last week.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Sapna Maheshwari is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Maheshwari reports on retail and e-commerce.
Contact Sapna Maheshwari at sapna.maheshwari@buzzfeed.com.
 
 
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