It's been nearly 2 years since Ron Johnson left JCPenney after a disastrous, 16-month tenure.
But the company is still trying to repair the damage, CEO Mike Ullman told investors.
"We are still trying to fully recover from the self-inflicted wounds of the previous strategy," he said in an earnings conference call.
JCPenney recently reported a quarterly loss of $59 million.
Ron Johnson took over the company in 2011 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.
Johnson also tried to attract trendy, upscale designers like Jonathan Adler.
His strategy alienated JCPenney's longtime customers and sent sales crashing 32% in one quarter.
The company burned through available cash and resources trying to rebuild stores until Johnson left the company in 2013.
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.
Before his tumultuous tenure at JCPenney, Johnson was considered a visionary for his work on Apple's retail stores.
Johnson 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 join the company's board of directors.
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