On Tuesday, longtime Apple chief of retail operations, Ron Johnson, formally left the company to take a new position as CEO of JC Penney. The loss for Apple is significant given that Johnson has served in this role for the past 11 years and was instrumental in growing the company's hugely successful retail channel.
In addition to coming up with the "Genius Bar" concept, Johnson is largely considered the architect of Apple's retail strategy - a strategy that has resulted in some 300 Apple stores around the world. Before joining Apple, Johnson enjoyed similar success at Target, where he spent 15 years.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Johnson's ascension to the top spot at J.C. Penney is garnering national attention and scrutiny. He's taking over from Myron "Mike" Ullman, who remains board chairman. Ullman plans to retire in February
As MMi reported early last summer, shortly after Johnson announced he would be leaving on November 1st, the search began to replace Apple's chief of retail operations. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Apple has succeeded in finding a permanent replacement during the last five months of searching.
As of this writing, Apple is still looking (both domestically and abroad) for a full-time replacement. The company is understandably taking its sweet time to find a suitable replacement - something that won't be easy to do. Since the company is planning to open 40 additional retail stores in this quarter alone, having an experienced, savvy hand on the wheel of Apple's retail ship can't be underestimated.
Source: Biz Journals