Apple Loses Retail Guru Ron Johnson To JC Penney

Ron Johnson

Photo: Apple

Apple’s SVP of Retail, Ron Johnson has been tapped to be president of JC Penney, the WSJ reports.Johnson leads Apple’s retail empire which generates $3.19 billion in sales for Apple, or 13% of the company’s total revenue.

Apple has 323 stores around the world, and they have helped define the brand to consumers.

Prior to joining Apple Johnson was a VP at Target. His bio on Apple’s site says he reports directly to Steve Jobs and “leads Apple’s retail strategy and is responsible for its overall execution and performance.”

While Johnson will only be named president, he is expected to become CEO at JC Penney in the next few months. JC Penney’s stock jumped 6% on the news.

We’re not sure why Johnson would leave Apple for JC Penney other than a change of pace. But, if you’re looking for a scandal, we would note that Apple’s most recent remake of its retail stores was reportedly led by Steve Jobs and designer Jony Ive. Maybe Johnson felt marginalized?

This is the second SVP to leave Apple this year. In March, Bertrand Serlet, who was in charge of Mac software left.

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