New J.C. Penney CEO Johnson hiring former Apple co-workers

“In a little over a week as chief executive of J.C. Penney Co., Ron Johnson is already shaking up the department-store chain’s management and tapping former Apple Inc. colleagues to help shape his new team,” Dana Mattioli reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Penney is close to bringing on Michael Kramer, now chief executive of Kellwood Co., as chief operating officer, people familiar with the matter said,” Mattioli reports. “Mr. Kramer previously reported to Mr. Johnson at Apple, where Mr. Kramer was the chief financial officer of Apple Retail from 2000 to 2005. Mr. Johnson ran Apple’s retail operations from 2000 until this October.”

Mattioli reports, “To round out his new team, Mr. Johnson has been relying on another former Apple executive, Daniel Walker, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Walker worked at Apple from 2000 until 2005, with his last position as vice president of human resources. He was the executive who recruited Mr. Johnson to lead Apple’s retail operations.””

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Why Apple’s retail genius Ron Johnson is paying for the privilege of running J.C. Penney – June 15, 2011
Apple’s retail store chief Johnson off to J.C. Penney; expected to become CEO within months – June 14, 2011

20 Comments

    1. Ron Johnson wasn’t the magic ingredient behind Apple’s retail store success; if anybody, it was Steve Jobs and his visionary faith. Ron Johnson was a fantastic lieutenant who has served Apple and its community well and we wish his success.

      Having said that, it’s worth keeping in mind, perhaps, that If you don’t have products/ideologies that people, sight unseen even, line up blocks around to purchase then you can hire/buy up the entire Apple ex-employees (and as many current ones), add special lights/features and glass staircases etc. (copycats galore starring MS coming to a theatre mall nearby) and still not be able to mimic Apple’s success, infuse the same magic.

      In simpler terms, unless I have a reason to believe that J.C. Penny now carries unique products and/or products philosophies that resonate with me deeply, I have no reason to think of it as anything unique from the rest of the retail franchises/experiments out there. At best, I can now anticipate better services and product organisation. Hardly worth a mad rush on stock purchasing spree, IMO.

  1. Weird. Most Apple employees sign a non-solicit agreement. Jon Rubinstein had to wait a year before hiring his former reports.

    Maybe this is due to new California legal precedent or maybe he negotiated a special employment contract or maybe he’s in breach.

    Something to watch anyway.

  2. Wonder if you’ll ever be able to display all of JCPenney’s product line on the top on one standard office desk? I suppose if it was just jeans, black mock turtlenecks and sneakers they might stand a chance.

  3. New fall wardrobe: Graphite, Flower Power, and Blue Dalmatian dress shirts.

    Dressing Rooms will be enclosed in expensive glass cubes.

    Fashion Geniuses will inspect your old clothes, help you upgrade your wardrobe, and even offer help you transfer your new clothes on.

    All clothing will be in black or white. Pants will include a belt that will only be compatible with that model of pants.

    All clothes will have one style of button.

    Zippers will be obsolete. They will be replaced with a magnetic flexible slot, much like an optical drive, that can be opened with multitouch gestures.

    The design of all the clothing will have no seams. All manufactured out of a single piece of fabric.

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