Apple’s retail store chief Johnson off to J.C. Penney; expected to become CEO within months

“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,” Elizabeth Holmes and Joann S. Lublin report for The Wall Street Journal.

“The company is expected to announce Mr. Johnson’s appointment later today,” Holmes and Lublin report. “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.”

Holmes and Lublin report, “Mr. Johnson joined Apple in 2000 and has since opened more than 300 stores for the company.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Johnson is a major league all-star. Apple will be sorry to see him go and, all of a sudden, J.C. Penney has a bright future. Good luck and job exceedingly well done, Mr. Johnson!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]


  1. Wha’ts really impressive is that Johnson is putting $50M of the money he has earned while at Apple, into JCP stock, not exercisable for 6 years, at a strike price set in the last couple days, around $29.92. Unlike most CEOs who get options for nothing, Ron is putting his money into JCP for a minimum of 6 years. Good for you, Ron!

  2. Always sad to see quality people leave. But Johnson did a great job for Apple and set them on the right course on retail. After 10 years it is time to give someone else a shot.

    Also, unlike the MS execs leaving for “family reasons,” i.e., leaving a sinking ship, Johnson is exiting to be a CEO. You can’t fault him for that.

    Good luck Ron, you are going to need it at Penney’s because it is going take more than lipstick to make that pig look attractive.

    1. Ron Johnson’s a magic man. He made discount chic cool with Target. It’s the only discount chain I frequent. The Apple retail stores have no equal in any industry. Everybody watch. He’ll make JC Penney cool no matter how implausible that seems at this moment.

    1. You thought wrong. JCP is probably the most successful of the old-old school department stores (Think of those whose roots go back to catalog retail in the 1800s.)

  3. At last he didn’t move to the enemy. JCP needs a remake and I doubt they could have done better.

    Wonder if he plans to offer Apple boutiques inside to draw traffic.

  4. Everyone is right that JCPenney is going to be a hard thing to fix. Actually, that’s true for traditional department stores in general. But if anyone can do it, it’s this guy.


  5. Wow. What a huge loss for Apple, I’m guessing McDougal steps up?

    Good luck at JCPenny Ron, we’ll miss you. But, we’re excited to see what you can do in your new challenge.

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