Marvin Ellison is an American business executive who serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Lowe’s, joining the company on July 2, 2018. He was the previous CEO of J. C. Penney, and had been since August 2015. He joined the company in November 2014 and served as CEO-designee and president before taking over the role of CEO. Under his tenure shares of JCP dropped in excess of 50%.
Ellison was an executive at Home Depot, in charge of the company's U.S. stores, from 2002 until 2014 when he was hired by J. C. Penney. He worked for Target Corporation from 1997 until 2002, mostly in the company's loss prevention department. Concurrently, he is an independent director of FedEx. He was previously an independent director of H&R Block.
During his time at Home Depot, Ellison helped oversee the chain's turnaround. As CEO of J.C. Penney, Ellison helped the company make progress in recovering lost profitability and laid out a three-year plan, starting in 2017, for growing sales. But he admitted that he had failed to increase the value of the company's stock for its stockholders, which by his own statement is the primary responsibility of a CEO.
Ellison was one of five African American CEOs on the 2016 Fortune 500 greatest leaders list, placing 19th.
In February 2017, Ellison was part of a group of retail executives that met with President Donald Trump and legislators to discuss tax reform. Following the meeting, Ellison stated that he believed a border adjustment tax, as it was proposed in a House bill, would make it difficult for J.C. Penney to be profitable and would also negatively impact U.S. consumers.
On May 22, 2018, it was announced that Ellison would leave J.C. Penney and take over as CEO of Lowe's on July 2, replacing retiring CEO Robert Niblock, who had been under pressure by large institutional investors for failing to increase Lowe's stock value to its stockholders.
Ellison grew up in Brownsville, Tennessee, one of seven children. He grew up poor, with his father working multiple jobs throughout his childhood. Ellison worked his way through college, an experience he said influenced his later corporate career. He is a lifelong musician, and growing up, his family performed as a gospel act.
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