Bill Ackman on Growing J.C. Penney

Bill Ackman on Growing J.C. Penney
Bill Ackman Photo via <a href="" target="_blank">InsiderMonkey</a>, Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Bill Ackman on Growing J.C. PenneyJ.C. Penney plans to add jobs over the next five years, says William A. Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management founder/CEO.

See the video of Ron Johnson, CEO of JCP, who Ackman talks about at length in this interview, and the follow up video here.

Video and transcript below:

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our guest host today is bill ackman, he is the management ceo, the ceo and founder of pershing square capital management.bill, we’ve been talking about a lot of things today. we spent some time on the railroads, we didn’t spend as much time on jcpenney. there have been reports that say jcpenney is under pressure, from you in particular to cut costs. as a result, they’re going to be cutting back on some of their staffing. how does that fit into the plan there? sure. we are not pressuring thecompany to cut costs. what ron is going to do is make the company a more efficient company and he’s going to grow the company. i expect jcpenney will meaningfully add jobs over thenext five years. from the start, i think he’ll make some changes.part of it is the strategy they have now, is to bring people in with sales, they’re moving apparently to an everyday low pricing structure. i guess that has some things, you won’t have the people going through and putting the price changes on all the time. hurling penny change signs, there are 300 million signs.the amount of energy and expense associated with that andconfusion for the customer. i’m not going to preview what ron is going to talk about at 9:00, there’s jobs and those people can be redeployed much more effectively. in terms of getting into aretailer. it’s a tricky idea to get into the department store. macy’s has been able to pull it off and they’ve been able to turn it around. is that the hope for jcpenney? just to give people a broad idea. jcpenney, we brought in a magical ceo, that’s how idescribe him. he came from apple. he created the apple retailstore experience. and you just have to, every apple store is an incredible, walk by the one downtown, 11:00 at night, the place is packed, there are a ton of people helping out. customer service in apple store, it’s a delight. none of the salespeople are paid on commission, they love the product, they like workingthere. ron, i think is going to try to create the same kind ofatmosphere at jcpenney. boeing is out, very weird, boeing had a huge fourth quarter, of $1.84 versus estimates of $1.01. i don’t know whether that’s apples to apples, but the revenue is $19.6 billion. versus a $19.37 estimate. strong fourth quarter result.the guidance for 2012, i don’t understand. the company is saying 405 to 425 and the estimate is 496. 496. and you know, whenever you’re looking at boeing, there’s a lot of r&d that goes into the end. and there’s also deliveries. how many planes they’re going to be ail to book as delivered. you never, you never really, really know. that’s the key metric that lebeau always talks about when he goes on a deep dive of one of the company’s results, how many planes you’re actually going to deliver. so really good fourth quarter. it looks like guidance for 2012 is below where the street is right now. and if we go into the pressrelease, or talk to bill, or phil, i’m sorry. we’ll be able to get some more reasons for why 2012 is so far wrong. i’m looking into the go back to bill right now, if you want, and i think we want to break, anyway. and bill, we’re going to mention your charity, and then we’re going to talk about what you do with charity. because — we talked about romney giving away $3 million or $4 gave away $50 million. 2010. $50 million. bill ackman and pershing square. the foundation, $130 million total grants, the last three or four years. not much of your income is carried interest, either? no. which, i don’t know why. we can talk about that. talk more with bill about all of these things.

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