J.C. Penney Brings Back Veteran Ken Mangone

J.C. Penney Co. rehired Ken Mangone to head product design as Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman works to stabilize the plunging sales caused by Ron Johnson’s failed overhaul of the department-store chain.

Mangone is returning as executive vice president of product development, design and sourcing, Daphne Avila, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. Mangone left Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney in December having been at the company since 1999, according to his profile on Linkedin.

J.C. Penney ousted Johnson as CEO on April 8 and replaced him with his predecessor Ullman after annual sales slumped 25 percent to $13 billion, leading to a net loss of $985 million. So far Ullman has been focused on the company’s balance sheet. The retailer borrowed $850 million from its credit revolver and hired Blackstone Group LP to help raise at least $1 billion, people familiar with the situation said last week.

Meanwhile Nick Wooster, senior vice president of design and trends, has left the company, Avila said.

J.C. Penney dropped 2.8 percent to $14.77 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 25 percent this year, compared to an 8.8 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The New York Post earlier reported the changes.