MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In line with his previously-announced transition, Ron Johnson has left his position as senior vice president of retail at Apple to take over as CEO of department store chain J.C. Penney. As noticed by 9to5Mac, Johnson has been removed from Apple's list of senior executives.

Johnson came to Apple from Target eleven years ago, overseeing the launch and strong growth of Apple's retail store segment. With other computer companies such as Gateway struggling with their own retail efforts at the time, Apple faced a significant amount of skepticism about whether it could make a viable stand in direct-sales retail.
Problem is, the numbers don't add up. Given the decision to set up shop in high-rent districts in Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, and Jobs's hometown of Palo Alto, Calif., the leases for Apple's stores could cost $1.2 million a year each, says David A. Goldstein, president of researcher Channel Marketing Corp. Since PC retailing gross margins are normally 10% or less, Apple would have to sell $12 million a year per store to pay for the space. Gateway does about $8 million annually at each of its Country Stores. Then there's the cost of construction, hiring experienced staff. "I give them two years before they're turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake," says Goldstein.
Apple has of course seen a tremendous amount of success in retail, leading all U.S. retail chains in sales per square foot while also serving to enhance brand awareness and offer direct support services to customers.

Apple has yet to announce Johnson's successor, with the company reportedly having been conducting a worldwide search as it seeks to increase its retail presence in international markets. The company has announced that it intends to open forty new retail stores during fiscal 2012, with 75% of those locations coming outside of the United States. Apple is also looking to expand or replace a number of its existing stores that are no longer able to handle current customer traffic levels.

Current Apple vice president for retail Jerry McDougal served under Johnson for over ten years, and has been viewed by some as a solid option to take the senior executive position with Johnson's departure. But it certainly appears that Apple is being diligent in its efforts to identify the best possible candidate to lead its retail operations, looking both inside and outside the company.

Article Link: Retail Chief Ron Johnson Departs Apple for J.C. Penney, No Successor Named
 

ryanmcv

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2007
768
458
Phoenix, AZ
Only $1.2 million/year for rent? I hardly doubt that would put much of a dent in Apple's pockets.

Edit: Just saw the word "each" after that sentence. Okay, that is a lot of money.
 

Amazing Iceman

macrumors 601
Nov 8, 2008
4,253
2,029
Florida, U.S.A.
From VP of Retail to CEO of JCP it's a big move forward that is good for his career. And JCP needs all the help they can get.

A successor will be named sooner or later, as negotiations may be currently going on.

I do feel that too many changes are going on at Apple after Steve's departure. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not.
I just hope everything quickly adjusts for good, and that Apple follows the guidelines set by Steve during his last days, otherwise he may just have work until the end for nothing.
 

johncrab

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2011
341
0
Scottsdale, AZ
Johnson is heading into a similar challenge that he took on at Apple. Prior to his development of the retail stores, Apple went to the market through a strange array of stores which ranged from dedicated retailers to almost hobby shop environments. He created the "Apple cathedral" effect that I experience when walking into one of the retail stores. Now he faces the challenge of turning around another iconic brand which has languished and is all but forgotten by younger generations. I wish him the best of luck in the new venture and look forward to seeing what ideas he has for the company. I remember when everyone said that Apple stores were a dumb idea. Hehehe.
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,290
3,623
Twin Cities Minnesota
Is it me or are we seeing lots of top figures leaving Apple in a wave?

No more than any other year, or anymore than other companies in this industry.

Though the general public is going to perceive Apple as being doomed with SJ now gone, and despite the fact his resignation having came in long before Jobs retired in August.


Besides this guy, who else?

Co-Founder of Siri (leaving because he want's to try new things, and move near his family in Chicago)

And the iAd Chief leaving for VC firm
 

britboyj

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2009
697
798
Is it me or are we seeing lots of top figures leaving Apple in a wave?

Ron Johnson's move was announced well before Steve's passing. He simply took his time and made sure the Retail house was in order before leaving. Outstanding thing to do.

Also, the former 2nd in command at Apple Retail (name escapes me) had VP of Apple Retail listed on his LinkedIn profile some time ago.
 

ed724

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2009
227
1
Johnson is heading into a similar challenge that he took on at Apple. Prior to his development of the retail stores, Apple went to the market through a strange array of stores which ranged from dedicated retailers to almost hobby shop environments. He created the "Apple cathedral" effect that I experience when walking into one of the retail stores. Now he faces the challenge of turning around another iconic brand which has languished and is all but forgotten by younger generations. I wish him the best of luck in the new venture and look forward to seeing what ideas he has for the company. I remember when everyone said that Apple stores were a dumb idea. Hehehe.

Uh, everyone ? I don't think so. I was working in an independent Apple retail store back in the A2, Mac inception days (second job). I was more than happy to see it come back, even better that its company owned.
 

vitzr

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2011
2,766
3
California
Is it me or are we seeing lots of top figures leaving Apple in a wave?

Yes we are.

When the Head of OS X Left, the handwriting was left on the wall.

Apple's the new iToys R US

_THE_ Retail giant with iToys for everyone.

No confusing, complicated professional computers. No hard to use phones.

Just Lots of Games & Fart Apps to keep the kids entertained.

And if that's not enough, read this: http://is.gd/QKusqz

Good old Apple, ya gotta love em :)
 

mikekey

macrumors newbie
May 11, 2011
26
0
Wow, they must be paying him really well to leave Apple. That or he felt there was no more innovating to be done at Apples Stores.

If it's not money, maybe the challenge of turning JCPenny around. But does anyone still shop at department stores?
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,992
16
Penryn
I do feel that too many changes are going on at Apple after Steve's departure. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not.

I'm sure that within Apple, Steve's imminent demise was no secret. If people were planning on leaving, they may have postponed their departure out of respect for Steve.

I don't think we're seeing anything out of the ordinary.
 

dXTC

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2006
2,033
50
Up, up in my studio, studio
From the OP:
Apple is also looking to expand or replace a number of its existing stores that are no longer able to handle current customer traffic levels.

I hope one of these is the Oxmoor Center store in Louisville. That place's traffic has seriously outgrown its space; it could use an upgrade ASAP. I used to love going in there. Now it's an ordeal just to get in, get the attention of a sales associate, get your stuff and get out, what with the throngs of Genius Bar and Personal Setup customers.

Of course, other retailers would love to have this problem, considering the current general economic state.
 
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