Will Apple bring Ron Johnson back?

“After the market closed J.C. Penney announced that Ron Johnson, the company’s CEO, was being replaced with Mike Ullman, the man that Johnson had replaced,” Chuck Jones writes for Forbes.

“Obviously J.C. Penney’s Board was not willing to wait to see if the company could at least stabilize and then grow. The slide in business shortened Johnson’s three to five year turnaround timeframe to eighteen months,” Jones writes. “This does free up Johnson to pursue other paths with one of them re-joining Apple in some capacity. However, Johnson may decide to take some time off and reevaluate what he wants to do next. I would not expect a quick announcement.”

Jones writes, “The scenario that I believe is most likely to not happen is to run the Retail operations again. Going back to a ‘been there done that’ role would be extremely unusual (except as a CEO, think of Jobs and now Ullman at J.C. Penney). Unless Johnson believes that the Retail group has gotten too far off-track and they need his presence to right the ship if he comes back it will probably be to join the Board or as a consultant.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ron should take some time off and then rejoin Apple next spring on the third Sunday of Lent.

Related articles:
Ron Johnson out as JC Penney CEO, says source – April 8, 2013
Ron Johnson starting to look a lot more maniacal than brilliant – March 8, 2013
If JC Penney fires CEO Ron Johnson, analyst predicts bankruptcy – March 8, 2013
J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson cuts 2,200 more jobs as sales plunge – March 8, 2013
J.C. Penney posts large loss as sales sink further – February 27, 2013
JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson capitulates, brings back sales – January 28, 2013
Apple retail’s Ron Johnson and John Browett have proved the Peter Principle is alive and well – November 13, 2012
CEO Ron Johnson switches J.C. Penney to two-tier pricing with price-match guarantee – July 26, 2012
Why is Ron Johnson’s retail strategy for J.C. Penney failing? – June 26, 2012
J.C Penney’s stock tumbles after key exec’s abrupt exit – June 19, 2012
J.C. Penney reports loss and plummeting sales in 1Q – May 15, 2012
Why Ron Johnson left Apple to head JC Penney – April 30, 2012
J.C. Penney lures another executive from Apple – April 26, 2012
Steve Jobs’ ex-lieutenant Ron Johnson adds $1.5 billion to J.C. Penney in two days – January 30, 2012
J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson: What I learned building the Apple Store – November 21, 2011
New J.C. Penney CEO Johnson hiring former Apple co-workers – November 9, 2011
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

32 Comments

    1. “Ron should take some time off and then rejoin Apple next spring on the third Sunday of Lent.”

      There’s no reason in hell for Apple to NOT bring Johnson back, provided they can’t find a superior candidate.

      Somehow I think, the way Apple is dragging its feet (seemingly so), that this hasn’t been orchestrated.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple offered to relieve JCP of some of its obligation to Johnson. If so, then it was an easy decision for them to let him go.

      2. Ron Johnson is damaged goods and it would be a terrible mistake to bring him back. He burned his bridges by leaving in the first place. We will all wonder “What was Apple thinking” within a year of bringing him back.

        1. Really? Do you think that once someone leaves a company that they should never be allowed to work there again?

          I’m glad that you weren’t any of the hiring managers at the companies I’ve worked for during my IT career. I left companies to go on to other opportunities and was called back to previous employers more than once. They didn’t take it personal that I left for what was better opportunities at the time. Instead, they realized that they just needed to sweeten their offer to lure me back.

          Perhaps Apple is doing the same.

          Seeing as how Apple has been unable to find a suitable replacement, and Johnson did a wonderful job, I’d think that he would be a perfect fit to come back.

        2. I expect garbage when I read your political posts 3l3c7ro, but this takes the cake. You probably conveniently forgot Steve Jobs was a rehire.

          Johnson helped build the stores into the massive success that they are now and is likely a better candidate than anyone else they are likely to find. Damaged goods my ass.

    1. There has been a lot of speculation on this forum about Ron Johnson joining Microsoft, or Google, or Samsung, or some other Apple competitor. I don’t know Mr. Johnson personally, but I’ve followed his career and I think it is highly unlikely that he would put himself in a position where he was working against Apple. When people talk about Apple’s DNA, Ron Johnson is one of the folks who helped define it. I think he could return to Apple if the right job was offered to him.

  1. Look at that! Who really needs a help now? Apple or Tim Cook will regret what he did last year. He literally fired all important people because he thought that they were hard to work with. Now, where is apple gone? Dropping so deeply with no innovation. Sick.

    1. tim cook never fired Johnson.

      “He literally fired all important people”
      besides Forstall what other important people did he fire?

      I know that you are a troll but at least troll with a little bit of smarts huh?

  2. He was a nice fit. But that was long ago and far away. He made a decision to leave and that’s the way it should stand. His decision, not Apple’s decision. I think Apple would look a little bit desperate if they were to take him back. Surely there are competent people out there somewhere in the world? If he were that good and important, he would still be running JC Penney.

    1. Calling you on your BS. When Johnson went to JCP he presented and JCP accepted a 3-5 year plan. He told them it would be rough going for a while. The board got freaked out by who knows what and ditched Johnson half way into the best case scenario of 3 years. For the mathematically challenged, they dumped Johnson at 18 months.

      Following his original plan and warnings, 18-24 months would be the very worst time period in the 3-5 year plan.

      Johnson was promised, but never got the time he requested to do the job. I hope his Golden Parachute was large, wide, and decimated JCP available cash.

      The JCP board screwed up, NOT Johnson. Since he was never given the time required he can not be judged for either good or bad in his role as CEO.

    1. Agreed. Although the media will likely spin it into a negative. “Apple, who is struggling to defend their position in the market (even though they are destroying all their competition) has made a desperate move and brings back Ron Johnson to attempt to hang on as they feel the heat from Samsung as their competitor opens small sections in Best Buy (who is having issues) selling things that no one really wants to buy”.

      There is no way the media would report this in a positive light. I’ve think gotten used to it.

  3. I think it was the timing that was bad for his leaving. When Steve ill and the company needed stability with everyone publicly pondering the fate of Apple without Steve. Not a good time to leave the company hanging.

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