“Apple Inc.’s search for a new head of its retail stores is dragging into its 10th month, and the effects are showing: The company recently reported its first drop in store sales in at least four years,” Ian Sherr and Joann S. Lublin report for The Wall Street Journal.

“In 2001, Apple changed the retail game when it threw open the doors to the Apple Store’s sleek and bright, modern interiors—completely different from electronics warehouses of the day stuffed with accessories and cords. The stores were revered as temples for all things Apple, and destinations for early adopters,” Sherr and Lublin report. “But today, both Apple’s products and the format of its retail stores have become commonplace… ‘You had different products and services emerging almost every quarter under [original Apple Retail head Ron Johnson],” said Dane Taylor, a 36-year-old who worked at one of Apple’s stores in Virginia for five-and-a-half years, until December 2010. ‘Since he left, the stores have been basically the same from a customer-service point of view.’”

“As the high-tech market leader seeks to regain the luster of its once groundbreaking retail strategy, the company has been reinstating spending and reversing policy decisions that were unpopular with customers during the six-month tenure of John Browett, who had been brought in to run Apple’s stores in April 2012. Tim Cook, the company’s chief executive, has been heading up the stores since announcing Mr. Browett’s departure in October,” Sherr and Lublin report. “Apple’s search for a replacement, handled by recruiters Egon Zehnder International, has gone slowly, people familiar with the matter said, and the company has yet to settle on a finalist after interviewing several external candidates… Apple doesn’t consider internal candidates to be an option, according to a third person familiar with the matter.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Back up the Brinks truck into Ron’s driveway and don’t move it until he sign back up. Give him 10 years of worth of incentives and make it a priority for him to groom a small group of successors. Problem solved. Next!