Chairman, CEO; J.C. Penney Co.
2008 Rank: 41
After president and chief merchandising officer Ken Hicks left for Foot Locker, Ullman, 62, assumed those additional roles while the firm searched for a replacement. But the executive shakeup hasn’t stopped JCPenney from boosting its profile this year. In July, the moderate department store bowed its first Manhattan unit, in Herald Square, bringing its store total to 1,109. Then, last month, it announced a deal with Liz Claiborne to stock the company’s lines exclusively beginning next fall. As part of the 10-year licensing deal, JCPenney also secured the right to buy the entire brand after five years. Investors responded favorably to the deal: On the day of the announcement, the firm’s stock price rose 0.7 percent to $35.54.
Power Players: Mike Taxter, EVP, stores; Cindy O’Connor, EVP, family footwear, women’s accessories