Ron Johnson — Apple's former retail genius who fell from grace thanks to a short-lived, tumultuous stint as the CEO of J.C. Penny Co. — just led a $16 million investment in the e-commerce startup Nasty Gal to help it expand its brick-and-mortar presence, Re/code reports.
He will also be joining the company's board of directors.
Since J.C. Penney ousted Johnson in 2013, he has been working on a retail startup called Enjoy, but he had been in touch with Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso for the past year.
When Nasty Gal opened its first physical store in Los Angeles in March 2014, Johnson flew out to give Amoruso advice. Nasty Gal plans to use the $16 million Series C round — and Johnson's expertise as a board member — to open at least one more brick-and-mortar location.
"We don't have an aggressive rollout planned," Amoruso told Re/code's Jason Del Rey. "We want to get another one open, learn a lot, and then hopefully destroy everyone."
Amoruso stepped down as CEO of Nasty Gal in January, after a year of slowing revenue growth and layoffs. (She is still involved at Nasty Gal as its executive chairman.)
Johnson took over at J.C. Penney for 16 months and announced an aggressive turnaround plan, which included doing away with the retailer's popular coupon program and creating shop-in-shops that showcased certain vendors.
That strategy sent sales crashing 32%.
Bill Ackman, the hedge fund manager and investor who recruited Johnson, called his tenure a "disaster."
"One of the big mistakes was perhaps too much change too quickly without adequate testing on what the impact would be," Ackman said at a Reuters conference in 2013.
Ashley Lutz contributed to this story.
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