UPDATE 1-Saks CEO Sadove to become J.C. Penney director

Wed Oct 9, 2013 8:48am EDT

Oct 9 (Reuters) - J.C. Penney Co Inc said on Wednesday that departing Saks Inc Chief Executive Stephen Sadove will become a director once he leaves his current job, in the latest change that brings more retail experience to the struggling department store chain's board.

Sadove, Saks' CEO since 2006, will join Penney's board once the acquisition of the luxury store chain by Hudson's Bay Co is completed sometime by year-end.

Penney also said that Geraldine Laybourne, the founder and former chief executive officer of Oxygen Media, is stepping down from the board to work on a startup consumer technology venture for kids.

Sadove, who is credited on Wall Street with updating Saks' e-commerce, becomes the third Penney board member to come from the retail sector, in addition to Penney CEO Myron Ullman.

Many analysts faulted Penney's board in 2012 and earlier this year for not reining in former CEO Ron Johnson's aggressive plan to take Penney upmarket and ditch coupons, a plan that has led to six quarters in a row of double-digit percentage declines in same-store sales and from which Penney is still reeling.

The other retailers on the board include Leonard Roberts, retired RadioShack Corp CEO, and Ronald Tysoe, former vice chairman of Federated Department Stores Inc.

In August, hedge fund manager William Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management was Penney's biggest shareholder, left the board, as did Steve Roth, CEO of Vornado Realty Trust . Pershing sold all its Penney stake in August and Vornado did so last month.

Penney shares rose 1.7 percent to $7.90 in premarket trading.

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