Apple 'actively recruiting' for replacement retail chief

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
With Apple's retail operations continuing to expand and new features and improvements constantly being rolled out, the company revealed it is already working to find a replacement for the departure of Ron Johnson.



It was revealed earlier Tuesday that Johnson, senior vice president of retail at Apple, will leave the company to become the chief executive of J.C. Penney. In a statement to All Things D, Apple wished Johnson well and revealed the search for a replacement is already underway.



"Ron is excited about this opportunity and we hope it goes well for him," a company spokesperson reportedly said. "We've got a great retail team in place and are actively recruiting for his replacement."



Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said Johnson's departure was not about money, as he has netted more than $400 million from the sale of stock and options over the past seven years. In leaving for J.C. Penney, he will forgo 250,000 shares of restricted AAPL stock currently valued at around $80 million, while the 7-and-a-half year warrants he purchased with his new employer are already about $40 million in-the-money.



Munster said Johnson left because J.C. Penney presented a rare opportunity for him to transform one of the world's largest retailers. The analyst said he believes that Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, remains committed to the company, and Munster does not believe that Johnson was "seriously considered" to be the next CEO of Apple.



It's been a significant year for Apple's retail operations, with 2011 marking the tenth anniversary of the highly successful chain of global stores. Apple has repeatedly said that more than half of all the Macs it sells at its retail stores are to customers who are new to the platform.







During the company's last quarterly earnings conference call, it was stated that Apple had 323 stores open with an average revenue of $9.9 million each. Apple has no plans to slow its expansion, and anticipates opening 40 new stores during its fiscal 2011 year, with nearly three-quarters of those locations outside of the U.S.



One of those stores will be Apple's fifth in China, a country where the iPhone maker has found tremendous success with its products and retail ventures. In fact, Apple revealed in January that its most heavily trafficked stores are now located in China.



There are other plans in the works for major, iconic stores around the world, including rumors of a 15,000-square-foot location in New York's Grand Central Terminal. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is said to have been in talks with Apple to take over a "marquee space" in the terminal.



Other locations with new Apple retail stores in the works in the U.S. include Berkeley, Calif.; Murray, Utah; near its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.; and an expansion in SoHo, New York. Internationally, stores are also planned for Brisbane, Australia; Hamburg, Germany; Moscow, Russia; and Jerusalem, Israel, to name a few.



As for Apple's already existing stores, 2011 has already seen the debut of a revamped look with interactive iPad displays. With iPad 2 units on display throughout stores, product information, pricing and features are made easily available for customers to access.



The company also rolled out Joint Venture in March, a $499-per-year support initiative for small businesses. The service offers setup, training and continued support for up to five "systems," which include Macs, iOS devices and Cinema Displays.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    .... the company revealed it is already working to find a replacement for the departure of Ron Johnson.



    You don't say!
  • Reply 2 of 16
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    You don't say!



    This just in...



    The sun rose today... 1/2 of the globe is actively waiting for the moon to arrive. \
  • Reply 3 of 16
    homiehomie Posts: 44member
    I worked in retail in college. I can make myself available for an interview.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    vexorgvexorg Posts: 69member
    Ron Johnson has done a spectacular job with the Apple retail stores. I think that the success of Apple's retailing effort is in part due to the company's ballsy willingness to make bold moves, and re-think the whole customer experience. I suspect that this would have been hard to do in most risk averse corporate environments.



    It will be interesting to see what he will be able to do with JC Penney.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 500member
    Is Tubbs available? Oh, wait... I'm thinking of Don, not Ron.
  • Reply 6 of 16
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    These execs make too much money.

    Meanwhile front line employees in Apple stores are making lower than average wages even for retail. It's a strange world.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    camroidv27camroidv27 Posts: 523member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post


    These execs make too much money.

    Meanwhile front line employees in Apple stores are making lower than average wages even for retail. It's a strange world.



    And those who make all the tech products (not just Apple) are paid...
  • Reply 8 of 16
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post


    These execs make too much money.

    Meanwhile front line employees in Apple stores are making lower than average wages even for retail. It's a strange world.



    But they do ge health care.



    What's interesting about this is that this kind of executive leaving of Apple for a CEO job doesn't happen that often. At GE in the Jack Welch days, they considered the top managers leaving for CEO jobs of their own not a bad thing...it validated GE's model of developing leaders. Apple on the other hand keeps most of their top talent exactly where they want them...working for Steve. How many jobs has Tim Cook turned down? Or Schiller?
  • Reply 9 of 16
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vexorg View Post


    Ron Johnson has done a spectacular job with the Apple retail stores. I think that the success of Apple's retailing effort is in part due to the company's ballsy willingness to make bold moves, and re-think the whole customer experience. I suspect that this would have been hard to do in most risk averse corporate environments.



    It will be interesting to see what he will be able to do with JC Penney.



    In an unrelated profession, too many awesome offense/defense coordinators make lousy head coaches... Let hope this won't be the case with Ron Johnson and he will transition well from VP to CEO.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    In an unrelated profession, too many awesome offense/defense coordinators make lousy head coaches... Let hope this won't be the case with Ron Johnson and he will transition well from VP to CEO.



    Actually, running Apple Retail Stores was really very similar to being a CEO within an independent retail company. Ron provided the vision, strategy, and leadership for retail in the same ways he will at JCPenny. And, as any true leader or e-level exec would tell you, it's all about hiring the best talent for the job. In most cases, RJ was a very good at surrounding himself with talented folks and empowering them to do their jobs.



    I'd count on JCPenny finding a niche and adding shareholder over the next couple of years.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,113member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post


    These execs make too much money.

    Meanwhile front line employees in Apple stores are making lower than average wages even for retail. It's a strange world.



    If Johnson hadn't come on the scene, it's a good bet that thousands of these front-liners - as you refer to them - wouldn't even have jobs with Apple today. Quit whining.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,122member
    The question present in my mind is



    "What vision is it going to take to build upon the success that Johnson created?"



    Clearly retail is changing and the next era will be equally important. The replacement



    is going to have to come up with some unique ideas of her own and propel Apple Retail



    to even greater heights.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,113member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post


    Actually, running Apple Retail Stores was really very similar to being a CEO within an independent retail company. Ron provided the vision, strategy, and leadership for retail in the same ways he will at JCPenny. And, as any true leader or e-level exec would tell you, it's all about hiring the best talent for the job. In most cases, RJ was a very good at surrounding himself with talented folks and empowering them to do their jobs.



    I'd count on JCPenny finding a niche and adding shareholder over the next couple of years.



    If you think the look n' feel of the Apple Stores didn't have Steve's designs all over them and the architects he hand picked, you're crazy.



    Ron's expertise in the channels and backend distribution channels and how to manage them is where his expertise came to bear.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,292member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post


    Actually, running Apple Retail Stores was really very similar to being a CEO within an independent retail company. Ron provided the vision, strategy, and leadership for retail in the same ways he will at JCPenny. And, as any true leader or e-level exec would tell you, it's all about hiring the best talent for the job. In most cases, RJ was a very good at surrounding himself with talented folks and empowering them to do their jobs.



    I'd count on JCPenny finding a niche and adding shareholder over the next couple of years.



    If he's able to be successful at JC Penney, it will have far more overall impact on physical retailing than the Apple stores have had, as successful as they've been. But I doubt he (or anyone) can accomplish that. One of the things that has made Apple stores successful is the exciting and small product line. JC Penney sells pretty much the same junk that any low-end department store sells. Apple can highlight products because they only have a few SKUs. JC Penney has tens of thousands of SKUs (if not more). Apple customers have money. JC Penney's customers don't. Apple always had a certain special reputation. JC Penney doesn't. Apple has high margins because they're the manufacturer. JC Penney has low margins as most mass market, high-volume retail does.



    I suppose he can reduce the number SKUs, place clothing out on parsons tables (like Apple) or perhaps place pre-defined clothes combinations out for display. He can take the Apple approach for displaying electronics, letting users play. Maybe the same for toys. Or he can get rid of the typical department store layout and make it more like Ikea, which takes you on a twisted route through different areas, creating more of an experience. The problem is that the more space he devotes to experience, the lower the sales per square foot are likely to be. Apple is different because the products are expensive.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    If you think the look n' feel of the Apple Stores didn't have Steve's designs all over them and the architects he hand picked, you're crazy.



    Ron's expertise in the channels and backend distribution channels and how to manage them is where his expertise came to bear.



    There are reports that Jobs didn't like the idea of Genius Bars, and fought against it. I don't know if that means he was against the whole idea of Genius Bars, or against the way Johnson wanted to implement them.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,174member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    You don't say!



    Agreed. Or course they are looking and possibly have been for a few weeks. They will want to get someone in the role in time for Ron to train them in the Apple Way.
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