NEW YORK (AP) — In a Nov. 17 story about changes CEO Ron Johnson has instituted at J.C. Penney Co., The Associated Press attributed to Michael Francis, a former Penney president, comments about Johnson's leadership of the company.
The AP quoted Francis as saying that Johnson sticks to his beliefs and that Francis harbors no hard feelings toward Johnson, who fired him. "Life is too short," Francis was quoted as saying.
AP obtained the quotes through an email conversation it initiated from a page for Francis on the social network LinkedIn. After the story was published, Francis called the AP to say that the LinkedIn account belonged to an impostor, and that he himself had made no comments to AP about Johnson. Francis said he had contacted LinkedIn and that the company eliminated the account.
LinkedIn confirmed to the AP that it had eliminated the account but declined to discuss why it did so or whether it had evidence the account was fraudulent.