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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:23 PM   #1
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Apple Only Considering Outside Candidates for Senior VP of Retail Position




Apple is only looking at outside candidates for the head of its retail division, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The position has been empty since last fall when John Browett was let go after less than a year on the job, with the retail division reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.

Potential external candidates have been wary about taking charge at Apple Retail, largely because the company has not been clear about its future plans for the division, and many outsiders were seen as a poor fit for the job.
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Apple's search for a replacement, handled by recruiters Egon Zehnder International, has gone slowly, people familiar with the matter said, and the company has yet to settle on a finalist after interviewing several external candidates. Among those interviewed but rejected as a poor fit were wireless and telecommunications-industry executives, one such person said. A CEO of a privately held retailer in France spurned Apple's overtures, believing it would be hard to change Apple's culture as an outsider, another person said.

Apple doesn't consider internal candidates to be an option, according to a third person familiar with the matter.
The article does note that a focus on customer service has returned to the stores after, during Browett's tenure, the company began aggressively focusing on sales with a drop in customer satisfaction ratings reflecting that change.

Prior to Browett, Ron Johnson was the head of Apple Retail for more than ten years, making Apple's stores into one of the most profitable retail chains in the world. Johnson left the company to be the CEO of JC Penney, though he was fired from that position earlier this year.

Article Link: Apple Only Considering Outside Candidates for Senior VP of Retail Position
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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Is there a possibility of Ron Johnson returning?
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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First thing I thought of...

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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ThomasJL View Post
Is there a possibility of Ron Johnson returning?
from hero to zero to probable hero?
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:30 PM   #6
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Related article:

Part time Apple Retail Employee Hopes Crushed
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:34 PM   #7
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Seems like we're all able to figure out this one:
Bring back Johnson. Easy.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:39 PM   #8
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"A CEO of a privately held retailer in France spurned Apple's overtures, believing it would be hard to change Apple's culture"

Therein lies the problem. Why in the world should anyone wants to change something that brings immense satisfaction to the end users? By turning it into a generic Best-Buy style experience in order to squeeze profits, you undermine the entire notion of "Think Different." ALL that a new retail chief should worry about it making the place something consumers flock to because they KNOW they will love it.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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ME, ME, ME.

did i say me!
I have... EXPERIENCE! I was CEO of my own failed computer building company. thats qualifying material RIGHT THERE!
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordVic View Post
ME, ME, ME.

did i say me!
I have... EXPERIENCE! I was CEO of my own failed computer building company. thats qualifying material RIGHT THERE!
Lol!

In all seriousness, Johnson is an external candidate and it's obvious that he would be THE ideal candidate for this position at FIRST GLANCE. With that having been said, do any of you know why he left to begin with? It's a two way street as far as one company wanting someone to come back and the candidate wanting to return as well.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ThomasJL View Post
Is there a possibility of Ron Johnson returning?
He's the best choice honestly.

He knew what he was doing when he was there because he set up the stores as they are now.

With his failed JCP gig, he's been humbled.

Now he bar none would be the best candidate. Real World Exp while still having the Apple culture he set up.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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Is there a possibility of Ron Johnson returning?
Would you return to a job you left after failing at your subsequent job?
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kaibelf View Post
"A CEO of a privately held retailer in France spurned Apple's overtures, believing it would be hard to change Apple's culture"

Therein lies the problem. Why in the world should anyone wants to change something that brings immense satisfaction to the end users? By turning it into a generic Best-Buy style experience in order to squeeze profits, you undermine the entire notion of "Think Different." ALL that a new retail chief should worry about it making the place something consumers flock to because they KNOW they will love it.
Apple is only looking for external candidates because they know they have to shake things up at their retail stores amid declining revenue growth. If they wanted to keep things status quo, they would just promote within.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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Ron was awesome (although sometimes pretty goofy in his retail meeting videos). He did a great job of running with Steve's vision for the retail experience. Would be great to have him back.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:56 PM   #15
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Last week I had a conversation with someone who recently left a position in Apple retail, he called the department "rudderless" and when I said I had assumed Tim Cook was in charge, they said "no one is in charge." Sad that there is nobody to step up from within.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 03:58 PM   #16
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Would you return to a job you left after failing at your subsequent job?
It depends on how many zeros were in the offer. I could eat a lot of crow for a few million dollars.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:01 PM   #17
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the stores are like snobby circuit city
except for some accessories there is nothing you can buy without hunting down an employee and having to wait. not worth the trouble of going to the store
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:03 PM   #18
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Tell me if it isn't a coincidence...
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:04 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Kaibelf View Post
"A CEO of a privately held retailer in France spurned Apple's overtures, believing it would be hard to change Apple's culture"

Therein lies the problem. Why in the world should anyone wants to change something that brings immense satisfaction to the end users? By turning it into a generic Best-Buy style experience in order to squeeze profits, you undermine the entire notion of "Think Different." ALL that a new retail chief should worry about it making the place something consumers flock to because they KNOW they will love it.
Exactly. They don't need to change the recipe. They just need someone who is willing to keep reaching into the pot and ladling that good gravy on the potatoes.

I privately maintain that Johnson didn't fail at JCP. I think he took a dying brand and tried to redefine it. The dwindling customer base revolted because they couldn't handle the change, and upper management panicked. I think JCP will eventually fail, because they are in a market segment that is going away. They are too dowdy and pricey to compete with Target and WalMart, and too lowbrow to compete with upscale retailers.

People should remember what Johnson did for Target before he came to Apple.

If Johnson wants to come back I think the company should hire him.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:07 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by WannaGoMac View Post
Would you return to a job you left after failing at your subsequent job?
Of course not! It's a no-win proposition all around, but for a slightly different reason.

Although by all accounts, Ron did an amazing job at APPLE, I agree with those who say that it wouldn't be that smart for him to come back to APPLE. For starters, he'd be burdened with unrealistic expectations of performing continued 'Magic' for his former employer (APPLE).

Also, there are so many other good companies out there who could use his talents, and where he'd be a better fit than at JC Penney, and that would be more of a redemption for him than to try to live up to unattainable expectations at APPLE.

What happened to that former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve? He was said to be taking over retail, but was then put in charge of 'special projects'. A uniquely qualified individual is needed here, and APPLE is going to have a tough job filling that position, especially in light of the fact that they don't want to 'strike-out' twice in a row.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:11 PM   #21
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Would you return to a job you left after failing at your subsequent job?
Ask Steve Jobs. I mean, NEXT wasn't exactly a wild success.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:21 PM   #22
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Exactly. They don't need to change the recipe. They just need someone who is willing to keep reaching into the pot and ladling that good gravy on the potatoes.

I privately maintain that Johnson didn't fail at JCP. I think he took a dying brand and tried to redefine it. The dwindling customer base revolted because they couldn't handle the change, and upper management panicked. I think JCP will eventually fail, because they are in a market segment that is going away. They are too dowdy and pricey to compete with Target and WalMart, and too lowbrow to compete with upscale retailers.

People should remember what Johnson did for Target before he came to Apple.

If Johnson wants to come back I think the company should hire him.
Nailed it. JCP is the problem, not Johnson. They will continue to circle the drain with or without him.

Johnson's failure to instill a culture of always presenting the customer with a simple pricing structure (the price on the tag is the price, and the lowest price) without complicated sales or trickery is a sad commentary on our ability as consumers to appreciate honesty and simplicity. Apparently we all want to be tricked into buying things we don't need with needlessly complicated overlapping sales and coupons so that we can feel like we're getting a good "deal". In fact, you're not getting any deal at all. You just arrived at the price that the product should've been in the first place.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:26 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by rdlink View Post
Exactly. They don't need to change the recipe. They just need someone who is willing to keep reaching into the pot and ladling that good gravy on the potatoes.

I privately maintain that Johnson didn't fail at JCP. I think he took a dying brand and tried to redefine it. The dwindling customer base revolted because they couldn't handle the change, and upper management panicked. I think JCP will eventually fail, because they are in a market segment that is going away. They are too dowdy and pricey to compete with Target and WalMart, and too lowbrow to compete with upscale retailers.

People should remember what Johnson did for Target before he came to Apple.

If Johnson wants to come back I think the company should hire him.
The question remains is Tim's vision of retail the same as Ron's? I am guessing Tim's may be more defined by numbers than experience.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:42 PM   #24
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The problem is that they pioneered a reasonably new niche in between bespoke level service and mass retail and any retailer with similar volume experience is going to only be focused on the mass-market end. I am not sure if there is another retail chain out there with such high consumer satisfaction (CostCo, Trader Joes don't seem like the right fits, nobody else in electronics, maybe a mass luxury brand like Coach or Kate Spade...)

Also seems sad that nobody internal can take over - it means the culture within the BU is **** and nobody is mentoring properly.
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Old Aug 1, 2013, 04:47 PM   #25
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Unless the "outside candidate" being referred to is Ron Johnson, I think it's is a bad move to consider any other outsider. Apple did that once and it was a complete and utter failure for them.
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