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Former Apple SVP of Retail Ron Johnson ousted from JCPenney

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
According to multiple reports on Monday, Ron Johnson has been fired from his post as CEO of JCPenney, with Mike Ullman to retake the position he left in 2011.

Ron Johnson Chicago
Ron Johnson opens a Chicago Apple Store.


News of Johnson's departure was first published by CNBC, which cited a source familiar with the situation as saying the chief executive would be stepping down.

In a follow-up to the initial report, JCPenney issued a press release to Forbes, which included a statement from chairman of the company's board Thomas Engibous.

"We are fortunate to have someone with Mike's proven experience and leadership abilities to take the reins at the company at this important time," Engibous said. "He is well-positioned to quickly analyze the situation jcpenney faces and take steps to improve the company's performance."

After leaving Apple in late 2011, Johnson took on the role of chief executive at JCPenney, hoping to revitalize the storied company's image after finding rousing success with the Apple Store. However, a series of sweeping changes, including bans on sale pricing and the promotion of trendy products through "stores-within-a-store," didn't bear fruit.

Since Johnson took over as CEO, JCPenney has posted losses each quarter, with the company's stock dropping over 50 percent. For the firm's retail giant's fiscal 2012, revenues were down $12.99 billion, equating to a 27 percent drop from the year previous to Johnson's tenure. With news of Johnson's departure, the stock spiked some 10 percent in after-hours trading.

Johnson is largely attributed with the creation of Apple's brick-and-mortar retail chain, which most recently raked in a record $6.4 billion in sales during the 2012 holiday quarter. HIs old post at Apple is currently vacant after John Browett was fired following a series of reports pointing to strategies not inline with traditional Apple Store practices.
post #2 of 75
Bring him back to Apple in some capacity.
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post #3 of 75
Come on back, Ron!
post #4 of 75
Bring back the Ron
post #5 of 75
👍👍👍👍
post #6 of 75

What a shame. Now, JCP can raise their prices 25% and then offer customers a 20% off coupons and watch the foolish shoppers come roaring back through the doors to "catch a great sale". It's a huge disappointment that his philosophy didn't work because, after all, they were one of very few stores running an honest, open, and fair pricing policy.

post #7 of 75
Like a marriage, it's hard to come back after a divorce. The problem with Johnson is he tried to apply the Apple formula tp JC Penny. One's a premium product, the other rely on low margin and high volume. Apple pull people to their stores with the products. JC Penny uses coupons to push people to their stores.

All this just proving that getting a retail chief isn't easy. Former stars can be reduced to dust quickly.
post #8 of 75
I was at JCP last nite. The register gal could not get her iPhone swiper register thingy to work. Had to revert back to the old method. Sigh.
post #9 of 75

Hopefully Ron and Apple have already been in discussions and he arrives in Cupertino before the week is out. At least he tried something new at JC Penney because sales were already plunging before Ron became CEO.


Edited by jd_in_sb - 4/8/13 at 3:10pm

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post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

Like a marriage, it's hard to come back after a divorce. The problem with Johnson is he tried to apply the Apple formula tp JC Penny. One's a premium product, the other rely on low margin and high volume. Apple pull people to their stores with the products. JC Penny uses coupons to push people to their stores.

All this just proving that getting a retail chief isn't easy. Former stars can be reduced to dust quickly.

Agreed. I was very surprised he would even consider going to such a stodgy outfit like JC Penney. I understand the desire to be a CEO, but JC Penny's is a crap store, with crap products. It's in the business of "going out of business!" Rather like Sears and Kmart.

 

I really feel for the guy... wish him the best. What he did for Apple was great....not just the "style" of the store, but the Genius Bar was brilliant! :)

post #11 of 75

Apple shouldn't let him back.

 

He chose to leave Apple, and just because he didn't succeed at his current job doesn't mean that Apple should just let people come and go as they please.

 

For his seven years at Apple, the dude got over 400 million dollars. With Apple's horrible stock performance recently, they shouldn't be throwing around money like that.

post #12 of 75

I didn't think he could change the customer base from my mother shopping with coupons to my son looking for something hip. Too big of a move for a old mammoth like JCP.

post #13 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Apple shouldn't let him back.

 

He chose to leave Apple, and just because he didn't succeed at his current job doesn't mean that Apple should just let people come and go as they please.

 

For his seven years at Apple, the dude got over 400 million dollars. With Apple's horrible stock performance recently, they shouldn't be throwing around money like that.

$400,000,000?!? I'm not asking for "proof", but WOW! That's much more than I would have guessed. On another note, I thought the JCP rebranding was too much, too soon. None of the commercials or promotionals I saw seemed to ease the customer to equating JCP with JC Penny. Just a thought.

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post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

$400,000,000?!? I'm not asking for "proof", but WOW! That's much more than I would have guessed. On another note, I thought the JCP rebranding was too much, too soon. None of the commercials or promotionals I saw seemed to ease the customer to equating JCP with JC Penny. Just a thought.

 

On October 31, 2007 Johnson exercised 700,000 stock options in Apple stock with a strike price of $23.72, and then sold the stock later that day for $185 to $185.21 apiece netting him a $112m profit. It has been reported that Johnson earned $400 million during his seven and a half years at Apple.[2]

While head of J. C. Penney, Johnson continued to live in California and commuted to work in Plano, Texas by private jet several days a week.[3]

On April 8, 2013, he was fired as CEO as JC Penny and replaced by Mike Ullman.[4

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Johnson_(businessman)

post #15 of 75

JC Penny should change their name. It just sounds so 1900s Americana. It needs more of a European fashion elegance sound.

 

Jeanne Claude Parfaire

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post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Apple shouldn't let him back.

He chose to leave Apple, and just because he didn't succeed at his current job doesn't mean that Apple should just let people come and go as they please.

For his seven years at Apple, the dude got over 400 million dollars. With Apple's horrible stock performance recently, they shouldn't be throwing around money like that.

Kind of immature point of view.
post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

...He chose to leave Apple, and just because he didn't succeed at his current job doesn't mean that Apple should just let people come and go as they please....

 

I have no idea, from the outside, whether anyone could have turned JCP around quicker or not, but I do know the staff at my local JCP is awful! You can't help with anything. They don't even know basic things.

 

However, "choosing to leave Apple" should not automatically mean you can't come back. That decision should be made on whether coming back is good for Apple, shouldn't it?

 

It's more important for Apple to have the best people (which may or may not by Johnson) than it is to enforce some vendetta against human beings "coming and going as they please."

post #18 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Agreed. I was very surprised he would even consider going to such a stodgy outfit like JC Penney. I understand the desire to be a CEO, but JC Penny's is a crap store, with crap products. It's in the business of "going out of business!" Rather like Sears and Kmart.

I really feel for the guy... wish him the best. What he did for Apple was great....not just the "style" of the store, but the Genius Bar was brilliant! 1smile.gif

Um, Johnson came from Target...
post #19 of 75

This is not good for JCPenny. JCPenny needs to distinguish itself somehow. Johnson was the person to do it. They should have continued to believe in him. They compete directly with Target at many locations, and Target looks relatively upscale. Without a reinvention, JCPenny doesn't have much of a chance especially when they hire a person who was already a part of their problem.

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post #20 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

 

It's more important for Apple to have the best people (which may or may not by Johnson) than it is to enforce some vendetta against human beings "coming and going as they please."

Agreed

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post #21 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

$400,000,000?!? I'm not asking for "proof", but WOW! That's much more than I would have guessed. On another note, I thought the JCP rebranding was too much, too soon. None of the commercials or promotionals I saw seemed to ease the customer to equating JCP with JC Penny. Just a thought.

It was too much. He got much more from JCP with a total compensation of 52 million compared to 1.4 million from Apple in 2011.  He did have stock that would have come up to about 82 million when he left.  

 

http://www.forbes.com/profile/ronald-johnson/

post #22 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by DimMok View Post

Bring back the Ron

Seriously -- let's make bets he goes back -- position is open -- Apple stores are undergoing an update - new products coming -- it'll satisfy wall street -- and everyone's happy especially Apple Store employees - Googles going retail - Same-sung also.. The game has changed - new challenges.. He should 👍
post #23 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post


Kind of immature point of view.


We're talking Apple ][ here... it's par for the course.

 

I wish him the best of luck, and if Apple can find a place for him, then by all means do it.

post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

It's more important for Apple to have the best people (which may or may not by Johnson) than it is to enforce some vendetta against human beings "coming and going as they please."

 

I don't know if he's the best or not for the job, but if he was that good, then he shouldn't have been allowed to leave. For 400 million, Apple should have owned him for life. What if he comes back again, stays for a few years, pockets another hundred million at least and then decides to leave again? It's better to find somebody who will not abandon Apple.

post #25 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Apple shouldn't let him back.

 

He chose to leave Apple, and just because he didn't succeed at his current job doesn't mean that Apple should just let people come and go as they please.

 

For his seven years at Apple, the dude got over 400 million dollars. With Apple's horrible stock performance recently, they shouldn't be throwing around money like that.

You can't fault a guy for wanting to take a CEO position at a retail company with such a long history, along with the tremendous challenge of turning a company around. If he succeeded, he would've rubbed shoulders with very few CEOs with the same accomplishment.....for example, his old boss, Steve Jobs. Some people are not cut out to be CEOs. He was a perfect fit at Apple and made their retail operations what it is today. There is always room for improvement and I think Ron would rise to the occasion again.

 

With the performance of AAPL of late, that is all-the-more reason to bring him back, especially now that Browett was given the ax. My shares vote YES to throwing money at Ron Johnson! 

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post #26 of 75

That is unfortunate that he was let go.  I usually would never shop at JCP but after he started I thought I would give it a try due to the more honest pricing.  I really liked the store, the pricing, but did feel that inventory was lacking in some areas.  I think it is too bad that they will go back to the sale frenzy that so many stores go to.  I just want to buy my clothes at a good price, not look for coupons and JCP Credit card only sales.  I won't shop at Khol's because everything is a sale, or better sale if you put in on their credit card, and the clothes are not that great.  I refuse to take out one of their credit cards just so I can get the big "sale". I will also not spend my time trying to find the latest and greatest coupon that works from 1pm-4pm on some random Saturday.  I guess I will have to find some other place to get my clothes now.  

post #27 of 75

FWIW - it's hard to hate on the guy for leaving Apple... I mean come on...if I remember right... the only position *UP* was held by Steve Jobs... and the #2 was Tim Cook.

If someone offered you a CEO job you'd ALL turn it down right?

JCP competes in a REALLY REALLY REALLY difficult retail sphere... it's got Target / Walmart on the low-end and Kohls, Old Navy/Gap on the other side. 

A talented marketer like Ron would have loved the challenge of JCPenney - and thus why he took it.

 

But sometimes, selling premium electronics isn't as easy as low-end fashion.

Think about it, what company REALLY has a decent foothold in THAT space?

post #28 of 75
Too bad. My wife who very seidom shopped at JCPenney actually opened a credit account there after visiting the new JCP. There just wasn't enough new customers like her, I suppose.

On hindsight, maybe the expertise that Ron Johnson should have deployed was the knowledge he gained/used at Target rather than at Apple.

The hardest thing for a retailer or retail product to do is to move upmarket. JCP isn't the first one to try and fail. Walmart and VW had spectacular failures before JCP's. The astonishing thing is that Johnson apparently never heard of or paid proper heed to Walmart's and VW's mistakes.
post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


We're talking Apple ][ here... it's par for the course.

 

I'm never afraid to state my viewpoints, even if they might go against the grain.

 

What fun would a forum be if everybody agreed on everything? There would be no point in discussing anything.

post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

I don't know if he's the best or not for the job, but if he was that good, then he shouldn't have been allowed to leave. For 400 million, Apple should have owned him for life. What if he comes back again, stays for a few years, pockets another hundred million at least and then decides to leave again? It's better to find somebody who will not abandon Apple.

With a performance-based compensation package, he would make hundreds of millions......only if he earned it.

 

It's obvious you know little of how the corporate world works.

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post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

I'm never afraid to state my viewpoints, even if they might go against the grain.

 

What fun would a forum be if everybody agreed on everything? There would be no point in discussing anything.

This is nothing about going against the grain. All we're saying is that you're stating an uneducated viewpoint.

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #32 of 75
People talking about marriage know nothing of Apple's history. Ron will have an executive spot if he wants it. His overall track record is immense and his personal relationship and understand of Steve's vision will be a voice who doesn't forget it.
post #33 of 75

Forever XXI coming soon!

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post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

It's obvious you know little of how the corporate world works.

 

I'm not in the corporate world, I don't walk around with a suit & tie.

 

That doesn't change the fact that I believe that too many people in the corporate world are highly overpaid, including some people at Apple.

post #35 of 75
I would be thrilled if Ron Johnson goes back to Apple. He'd be the perfect man for the job too if Apple goes by my recommendation and markets the iWatch as a fashion product with tie ups with the name fashion designers/houses. 1wink.gif
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Bring him back to Apple in some capacity.

Yeah, that's exactly what the stock needs. NOT.

He had his tenure at Apple, decided to move on. That's it. Rehiring him will send a terrible negative signal.

If Apple is having trouble filling that position with a person of quality, it tells me that either their own internal candidates are not very good (which reflects poorly on Johnson's ability to hire and promote talent) or the recruiting folks in Apple HR (and other senior management concerned with recruiting) are lousy at spotting talent. It's doubly bad considering that it has to be one of the most -- if not the most -- covered jobs in retailing.
post #37 of 75
Apple has a standing policy to consider bringing back a former employee after a voluntary hiatus, so I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them bring Johnson back with open arms.
post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

 

"Shouldn't have been allowed to leave."? What should Apple do, chain him to his desk?

 

 

Make them sign some sort of longterm contract, where there would be penalties if they left before their contract expired.

 

You want to leave? Fine, that'll cost you a few hundred million.

post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yeah, that's exactly what the stock needs. NOT.

He had his tenure at Apple, decided to move on. That's it. Rehiring him will send a terrible negative signal.

If Apple is having trouble filling that position with a person of quality, it tells me that either their own internal candidates are not very good (which reflects poorly on Johnson's ability to hire and promote talent) or the recruiting folks in Apple HR (and other senior management concerned with recruiting) are lousy at spotting talent. It's doubly bad considering that it has to be one of the most -- if not the most -- covered jobs in retailing.

Yes, what a terrible signal to bring back the guy who turned your company into the most profitable retail operation in the history of human civilization.

You think Apple cares as much about its stock price as you or I do?
post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

JC Penny should change their name. It just sounds so 1900s Americana. It needs more of a European fashion elegance sound.

 

Jeanne Claude Parfaire

Hilarious dude... good one

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