THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

SaneBox

Organize Your Inbox and Never Waste Time on Email Again


VP Of Retail Ron Johnson Leaving Apple for J.C. Penney

The Wall Street Journal reports Apple’s VP of Retail Ron Johnson is leaving the company to become J.C. Penny president and, eventually, chief executive officer. Johnson joined Apple in 2000 and greatly contributed to the realization and success of Apple’s retail division across the world, becoming the public face for the company when it came down to talk about retail stores and, in the most recent years, the popularity of iOS devices in the Apple Stores. The WSJ says a public announcement hasn’t been made yet, but should happen later today.

J.C. Penney Co. is tapping Ron Johnson, head of Apple Inc.’s iconic retail stores, as its new president and eventual chief executive, people familiar with the situation said.

The company is expected to announce Mr. Johnson’s appointment later today. Mr. Johnson will become CEO in the next few months, succeeding long-time leader Myron “Mike” Ullman. He joined Apple from Target Corp., where he was vice president of merchandising for stores.

More information about Johnson’s career are available from Apple’s PR bio:

Ron Johnson joined Apple as senior vice president in January 2000. Reporting directly to the CEO, Johnson leads Apple’s retail strategy and is responsible for its overall execution and performance. Under Ron’s leadership, Apple has opened over 300 stores to date. Johnson has over 20 years of experience in retail and merchandising as well as a strong track record for delivering consistent year over year growth for billion-dollar companies.

Before Apple, Johnson held various management positions at Target, another US-based retail chain, contributing to the expansion of Target stores playing a key role in marketing and branding for the company. If true, The Wall Street Journal’s report seems to suggest Johnson is going to back to his roots to lead a massive retail distribution chain across the United States – becoming CEO is undoubtedly a big step forward from Senior VP of Retail at Apple.

Update: J.C. Penney has just confirmed the news – Ron Johnson will become CEO starting November 1, 2011, and invest $50 million in the company:

Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer of J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP), today announced that Ron Johnson, an innovative and highly regarded retail executive, has been named the Company’s next chief executive officer, succeeding Mr. Ullman in that role. Mr. Johnson will assume the CEO position on Nov. 1, 2011, and report to Mr. Ullman, who will become executive chairman. Mr. Johnson will also join the Company’s Board of Directors, effective Aug. 1, 2011.

Mr. Johnson said, “I’ve always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help J. C. Penney re-imagine what I believe to be the single greatest opportunity in American retailing today, the Department Store. I have tremendous confidence in J. C. Penney’s future and look forward to working with Mike Ullman, the Executive Board and the Company’s 150,000 associates to transform the way America shops.

Update #2: In a comment to All Things Digital, Apple says they’re “actively recruiting” for Johnson’s replacement in retail:

Apple confirmed his departure in a brief comment to AllThingsD. “Ron is excited about this opportunity and we hope it goes well for him,” a spokesperson said. “We’ve got a great retail team in place and are actively recruiting for his replacement.

Below, Apple’s popular iPad: Year One video featuring Ron Johnson talking about the iPad’s retail success.

An interview with Johnson from a few years ago – he says to “stay tuned” for an Apple tablet:

Ron Johnson in the Stanford Hospital Corporate Partners Program video:

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.