Just two-plus weeks after J.C. Penney's board—of which the Pershing Square Capital Management chief is a member—agreed to take their time to find a replacement for the man he hand-picked for the job, Bill Ackman is getting impatient. It might occur to a lesser man who had picked a candidate he generously described as "very close to a disaster"—most people familiar with Ron Johnson's J.C. Penney would probably have omitted the first three words—that discretion is be the better part of valor in this case, but Bill is unafraid. He's made morepowerfulenemies than the man he obviously sees as the lame duck chairman of a failing retailer that he owns 18% of and whose replacement he has already found.
“The Board of Directors strongly disagrees with Mr. Ackman and is extremely disappointed that his letter was released to the media at the same time that it was sent to the Board,” said Chairman Thomas Engibous. “Mr. Ackman has been integrally involved in the Board's activities since he joined two years ago. This includes leading a campaign to appoint the Company's previous CEO, under whose leadership performance deteriorated precipitously. His latest actions are disruptive and counterproductive at an important stage in the Company's recovery.”
"Mike is working tirelessly to save this company, and it is despicable of Ackman to leak a letter asking for his removal," said Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks Corp., on whose board Mr. Ullman sits. "The irony is that Ackman himself has every step of the way severely damaged this company."