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. Ron Johnson did a great job at apple

    that too many people think that ex Apple staff can ALWAYS work miracles.

    But that might not be true. The reason people can shine might be because Apple promotes excellence, supports innovation and rewards risk takers (opening apple stores was a big risk) who succeed (look at the millions Johnson is taking with him). Other companies might have ingrained cultures that defeat excellence and are resistive to change. They might have a innovation fearful board and managers more interested in bonuses and security than risky change.

    Remember Johnny Ive had his designs trashed by clueless clients back in England and then languised in Apple before Jobs return and recognition of his talents.

  2. With Ron Johnson in charge, J. C. Penney could overtake Walmart inside of a decade. The man knows things about how to sell things in stores that most people have no idea there is to know.


  3. An Apple’s board seat is clearly reserved for him if needed.
    This may be one of succession plan laid out for Ron. He can enjoy new challenges and at the same time can make contribution to Apple’s retail strategy.

  4. What this says to me — and it’s interesting that no one in the press or on this site has zeroed in on it yet (it took me a day or so) — is that this bodes well for the future of Steve Jobs, his health and his time at Apple. If he were sick to the point of not returning full-time, senior management would, I think, be hanging on collectively to see who would win in the inevitable shake-up.

    While Johnson leaving makes me sad, it’s obvious that he doesn’t see Apple’s top job in his future. That’s a good thing for everyone, whether it means Steve’s health stabilizing or a solid succession plan.

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