New J.C. Penney CEO to have limited role: report

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice president of retail, will have a limited role is his new job as chief executive of J.C. Penney Co Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

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Johnson will take over on November 1 for current Penney's CEO Myron Ullman, who will then become executive chairman of the board, the company announced this week.

But Johnson, who is credited with pioneering Apple's retail store concept and its so-called Genius Bar, will be limited in his new job at Penney's.

Johnson's duties, at least at first, will be focused on marketing and merchandise selection while Ullman will oversee the more common executive responsibilities of accounting, finance, corporate strategy and logistics, the Journal reported.

A Penney's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

The company's stock soared on the Johnson announcement, gaining more than $1 billion in market share in the wake of the news and ending the week at $34.29 per share.

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Johnson, who joined Apple in 2000 and directed the opening of its first retail store a year later, previously worked for Target Corp and for the now-bankrupt department store chain Mervyns.

(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Bill Trott)