Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson Departing to Lead J.C. Penney [Updated]

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Ron Johnson is leaving the company to take the position of president at department store chain J.C. Penney, a move that will put Johnson in position to become CEO at the company within the next few months.
    Johnson, who came to Apple eleven years ago from Target, has been credited with being the driving force behind Apple's runaway success in its retail store initiative that has grown to include 325 stores worldwide. Johnson has also been a fixture at many of Apple's highest-profile retail store openings around the world.

    Johnson's philosophy for Apple's retail stores has been to "create a place that people will love", focusing on the customer experience rather than simple square footage or sales metrics, although Apple's retail stores are of course performing extremely well by sales measures as well. During his tenure at Apple, he oversaw the entire retail store development process, from the original stores in Tysons Corner, Virginia and Glendale, California to the iconic buildings now located in a number of cities around the world.

    Update: J.C. Penney has officially announced that Johnson will assume the CEO position on November 1st and that Johnson will personally make a long-term $50 million investment in J.C. Penney as a sign of his confidence in the future of the company.
    Update 2: J.C. Penney's stock is up over 10% on news of Johnson's appointment. Apple's stock has been fluctuating a bit, but is only down slightly since the news broke.

    Update 3: Apple has issued a statement to All Things Digital wishing Johnson well and noting that the company is "actively recruiting" for his replacement.
    Article Link: Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson Departing to Lead J.C. Penney [Updated]
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2011
    Good for him. If I could be CEO of a very large company like J. C. Penney, I would take the offer without blinking.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2010
    Lakeland, FL
    Sounds like a good move for him career wise.

    I think by this point Apple has retail figured out well enough that they will be just fine without him. He did a really good job though.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2003
    Buffalo, NY

    This guy obviously loves a challenge, having done all he can to get Apple Retail where it needed to be, it seems like the right time to move one. No bigger challenge than trying to resurrect such a stale brand as JC Penney...good luck Ron!
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Apple will miss him, I'm sure. But at least he can make a difference somewhere else.. and hopefully help another business from going under (I doubt they will anyway.. J.C. Penny is usually packed..)
  6. macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Will do good

    Mar 24, 2010
    Good luck

    The reasons Apple retail was successful is their quality products and their profit margin, which allow Apple to be customer friendly and focused.

    JC is a much bigger challenge.
  8. HelveticaNeue, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    "Do you want to sell t-shirts for the rest of your life, or do you want to stick with me and change the world?"

    Seriously, I think this could be a great move for him. He's done amazing work with Apple and this opportunity allows him to essentially start from scratch and allows him to advance up the chain a bit higher.
  9. macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Mar 5, 2009
    I had the pleasure of working with Ron for many years. He was the real brains behind Apple Retail. Great guy.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    Succession Planning

    I would hope a firm like Apple that relies so heavily on individual talent would have succession planning in place. It will be a loss. Some one equally talented in a slightly different way will be selected and add their unique twists to the experience. Hopefully they have as much success.

    That said, while being a CEO is a nice job change, going from a retail Guru at Apple to JC Peney, CEO or not may be a let dow.

    As a PhD canidate in Organizational behavior I would love to see how Apple's senior staff interacts and gets along. Maybe this guy wanted to move on to be closer to familt, the pay, etc. Or perhaps he didn't like the dynamic. So many possibilities.

    I can only hope JC penney gets better. They are not so hot by me.
  11. macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Me too. Great guy, smart guy -- good move for him.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Yea, at first I was like, "REALLY?! Swapping Apple for J.C. Penny?!"

    But then, I guess he has really gotten Apple's retail off the ground and he's proven himself to be really successful. The Apple Store is obviously beyond its infancy now and can be handed over to someone else...That, and they offered him to be the President :p Good for him
  13. macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009

    not much different than the standard luxury store model i see

    open stores in "high end" areas

    have samples of the product

    leave a lot of room for people to move around. the trend is that the price of the product is inversely proportional to the amount of space between products

    hire halfway decent help

    upsell high margin extras

    package your products with little wasted space. the boxes on some PC's make them so bulky and increases shipping cost

    liberal return policy
  14. macrumors 68040

    Sep 20, 2006
    Aussie living in Canada
    JC Penny is going to rock in a couple of years. 3 shirts, 2 socks, bare walls.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011
    wow, big move. i worked with ron back in 2002-2003 when the stores were just starting to fly off the grounds.

    he is a great guy, extremely nice with a warm and friendly heart, best of luck to him.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2007
  17. macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2007
    Bristol, UK
    wow, they definitely pay these people too much!
  18. macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I'm sure they have tasked him with making JC Penny hip. Old line department stores have an old customer base. If anyone os up to the task, he is.
  19. macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
  20. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Good luck Ron. Wow, J.C. Penney? That's quite a challenge.

    So you think the most successful tech company in the world has no clue when it comes to its executive staff? Surely it must be Steve Jobs that's running every single part of the billion dollar business? :rolleyes:
  21. macrumors 68000


    "J.C. Penny....doing it right!"

    That bugger of a slogan has been stuck in my head since the 90's. :mad:

    It will be interesting to see if Ron can "Applize" the department store business.
  22. macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Wish he'd been CEO when I had crappy college job working there... :rolleyes:
  23. zin
    macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Good for him!

    Now, cue the, “Everyone is deserting Steve and Apple is doomed” comments.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2008
    U S of A
    Can't blame the guy. He gets to become top dog. It will be interesting to see how much better he can make JC Penny's. I didn't even realize that company was still around.
  25. macrumors 68040


    Dec 2, 2003
    I didn't even realize jc penny still existed.

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