Why Ron Johnson left Apple to head JC Penney

“Ron Johnson is broadly credited with building out Apple’s insanely profitable retail store business,” Covester reports.

“Last November, Johnson shocked the business world when he announced he was leaving Apple to become CEO at department store chain JC Penney. On Quora, Brian Roemmele provided this terrific answer to why Johnson made the move and what it could mean for JCP’s prospects,” Covester reports. “Why? His desire to change just about every aspect of the department store experience.”

Covester reports, “It is his plan to remake every aspect of J.C. Penney’s by 2015. In his very Steve Jobs-like presentation he presented just how ‘broke’ the traditional retail department store model has become.”

Ron Johnson JCP presentation

MacDailyNews Note: Watch Ron Johnson and Michael Francis present J.C. Penney’s new strategy here.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Think Different.

Steve Jobs’ influence has only just begun.


  1. I’m disappointed Ron left Apple, but I’m impressed with what he’s done at JCPenny so far. He has really made some bold moves – all of them great choices. I wish him nothing but success!

  2. I would be willing to bet that there are many other senior management people in Apple who will migrate to other industries in the future. This migration of people who are willing to challenge existing models and who want to make things better could be a real benefit to American industry. I suppose the argument could be made that the culture of Apple (as developed by Steve Jobs) may have far reaching and (hopefully) positive effects for the US for many years to come.

    1. Good point. Innovation comes in waves and a single unique solution for one problem can be applied to many different situations with great effect.

      The only way first world countries can stay ahead of the game is by being the first to innovate. That sadly is lost on the traditional industries but they too could enhance their products by thinking differently.

  3. Not that I shop regularly there, but there is a noticeable change in the air at JCP stores. Even the employees are pumped in a way that they haven’t been for many years. Their prices are decent, no more headaches with coupons, and the one store we go to is cleaner and laid out more efficiently. I’m impressed.

  4. Love Ron’s work, love what he did for Apple, believe in what he’ll do for JCP. But is it just me, or is it hard to get very excited listening to him present? I know, Steve’s a tough act to follow. But seems he could use some coaching! And some coffee!

  5. Guess Johnson got bored with “Changing the World” and returned to pushing mediocre clothing. Go figure. At least it’s better quality than Walmart.
    They must pay him a Hell of a lot.

  6. Has anyone here been to a revised JC Penny store? What’s changed? What’s new? I have an affinity to shopping. Was “damaged” as a child by mother, who was born to shop. I know, most here probably can say the same but she wrote the book. I remember one time, when I was very young, she took me to the mall to get shoes and to get the shoe store we went through one of the anchor stores at the mall. It took an hour just to advance from the first few aisles from the front door. As a kid wanting to get in and get out, this was worse than any advanced interrogation techniques like water boarding. To this day, I get cold sweats just passing a mall!

    But good luck Ron!

  7. I work in the rag trade. and theres no way hes going to help JCP. They don’t have a good customer base. Its not a place people got to shop for clothing. Hes right , they are outdated. but they have huge competition that do it better. Its not like its an Apple- Microsoft situation.. on top of that JCP isn’t a well liked brand

  8. I think it is just funny how he rambled on forever talking about Apple and Steve. I just hope he wont’t regret his decision.

    BTW : Thank you Ron for the Apple retail stores!

  9. I actually like the old Penney’s so far. No more coupons, their sales flyers are so minimalist they’re absolutely useless- inside, it’s the same old merchandise. (At least in the men’s department.) Boring.

  10. — ron Johnson is good.
    I wonder how Browett would perform for Apple? Haven’t shopped at Browett previous shops but the photos look bad.

    — Johson is another indication of the genius of Jobs. He hired him and even though initially disagreed with Johnson’s ideas eventually allowed him to do what he needed (many CEOs are insecure and don’t allow the ‘stars’ they hire to really run. Microsoft is filled with highly paid ‘stars’ but look at the last 10 years… )

    — revamping stores is great BUT does JC Penney have the ‘Goods’ ? Apple stores have crazy sales not just because of the store conecept etc but the PRODUCTS.

  11. JCP has one of the largest databases on customers in the world; over a century.  There was a story recently ( I saw it on Colbert) about how Target knew a man’s 17 year old daughter was pregnant before he did.  This was because they have a great data mining partner.  They can tell by a few idems a woman has bought that she is probably pregnant, and how to market to her.  Imagine what one could do with a hundred years of data on buying trends.  Apple is good at databases too.  I think that is why he went to JCP, they have a goldmine and no idea how to use it.   

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