J.C. Penney's Michael Francis stepping down

June 18 Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:34pm EDT

June 18 (Reuters) - J.C. Penney Co Inc said on Monday that Michael Francis, whom the department store lured away last year from Target Corp and who was responsible for its merchandising and marketing, is stepping down immediately, after only eight and a half months on the job.

Chief Executive Ron Johnson will assume direct oversight of Penney's marketing and merchandising functions, the company said. The retailer last month reported an 18.9 percent decline in same-store sales for the first quarter of its turnaround.

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