Ron Johnson could return to run Apple Retail

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 92
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,305member

    What is dumb about admitting failure? It's not like one can hide it through public denial.

    It does nothing to address the failure. That's what's dumb.
  • Reply 62 of 92
    nealgnealg Posts: 132member


    If he wants to come back, can get his mind back into it and is thought to be the right guy for the job, then hire him. Maybe he doesn't get to be the big cheese but maybe a consultant.


     


    Don't know how much of the JC Penny fiasco was his own fault and how much was the culture there or possibly a combination of the two. Never been one of my favorite stores. My sister in law was let go 6 months before she would have been eligible for a pension(but I will say I don't know the full story behind this).


     


    I don't think working at JC Penny made him stupid. To deny the successes he had with the Apple store(although a good part of that may have been due to Jobs influence) because of the JC Penny failure would be wrong, IMO. Just remember that Jobs came back better, maybe a bit more humble, after he had been publicly kicked out of Apple a decade earlier.


     


    But maybe, with all the money he has made at Apple, he doesn't need to work and maybe that he doesn't want to. Maybe the money was part of the reason he didn't succeed at JC Penny. It will be interesting to hear his side of the story, if it ever gets told.

  • Reply 63 of 92
    irelandireland Posts: 17,779member
    jimbo1234 wrote: »
    Comeback to your family....

    Exactly. Apple is home for Johnson.
  • Reply 64 of 92
    irelandireland Posts: 17,779member
    rogifan wrote: »
    CNBC was brutal on Johnson this morning. The main theme being anybody could sell Apple products as they basically sell themselves. I don't see how bringing him back to Apple is a good thing. Unless morale at retail is so low right now and they all loved Johnson and want him back?

    Apple retail is also about hiring people and building and designing stores. Johnson was with Apple retail from the start and he clearly had a gift for it. Johnson's decisions and taste suited Apple particularly.
  • Reply 65 of 92
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    rogifan wrote: »
    :lol: you always seem to find a way to throw NeXT in the conversation and declare former NeXT employees the most brilliant people to ever grace the earth.

    You wouldn't far off the mark in the context of the rebirth of Apple if you also held that opinion ... but that's just my humble opinion of course. Personally I love hearing mdriftmeyer's comments as they are some of the most insightful and historically well founded on this the blog. Without an accurate understanding of history all else is spin and speculation.
  • Reply 66 of 92
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    ireland wrote: »
    Apple retail is also about hiring people and building and designing stores. Johnson was with Apple retail from the start and he clearly had a gift for it. Johnson's decisions and taste suited Apple particularly.

    I agree with you. Assuming the OP is accurate and in fact he changed Steve's mind on how the stores should be set up he deserves enormous credit. It is impossible to ever know if Steve's original concept would have worked equally well but CNBC's assertion that 'anybody could sell Apple products as they basically sell themselves' certainly flies in the eye of what all those same experts said when the Apple Stores were launched doesn't it? More like 'doomed to fail' was the general consensus. The tech media after that and their outright condemnation of the potential for the iPad seems to make their opinions as valuable as .... 'self censored'. :D

    I hope he does return.
  • Reply 67 of 92
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

    It does nothing to address the failure.




    When a lot of people can't even admit that such a thing could happen, I fail to see how you can say it does nothing to address it.

  • Reply 68 of 92
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,035member


    I think most of you already said it, Bad idea to bring him back to Apple. Ron was only successful because he implemented Steve's vision. I would venture to guess that Ron did not understand why Steve want thing in a particular way and failed to understand why Steve' vision worked for Apple.


     


    Ron's grand idea for JCP was to change the logo and create a store in a store idea. Well I saw the store in a store idea in JCP and now Macy's and it does not work. Why, because large department stores are dinosaurs these days. They are no longer needed and people can go to a mall and get a store in a store concept without stepping foot into a department store.


     


    The Department store was a great idea at one time when people had to walk or drive around town to get to different store and the department store put them all in one place. No longer needed we have malls.

  • Reply 69 of 92
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,918member
    maestro64 wrote: »
    I think most of you already said it, Bad idea to bring him back to Apple. Ron was only successful because he implemented Steve's vision. I would venture to guess that Ron did not understand why Steve want thing in a particular way and failed to understand why Steve' vision worked for Apple.

    Wow, I guess you didn't read the biography where Jobs said Ron changed his mind on the layout and genius bars. Enough with the "Jobs created everything meme".
  • Reply 70 of 92
    Johnson now clearly was a failure at JCP, so don't bring him back.

    Wasn't that the argument against bringing SJ back to Apple?
  • Reply 71 of 92
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,614member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I like this part the best:


     


     


    Still, new hires at headquarters, many of them Apple alumni, have staked out cushy workspaces for themselves, ordering posh furnishings and insisting the company replace their PCs with Apple computers and iPads — despite company networks that remain PC-based.


    “You can’t coordinate people’s calendars because there are glitches in the Apple software,” one insider said. “The IT people don’t know how to work on them — I think that’s part of the reason they fired a lot of the IT department.”


    That's hilarious! image


    If I were an executive, I would also demand to only use Macs and I would also instantly fire anybody from the IT department that began whining or didn't know how to use a damn Mac.



     


    Most large businesses work with Exchange and Exchange works pretty well with Apple hardware, so I don't know what the problem is.     I do have one problem and that is if one isn't using Exchange Server, in order for sync with the phone to work from a Mac, it has to sync with iCal and Address Book.   Before iCloud, you could sync Outlook with iCal and Address Book.   But once iCloud came along, you can no longer sync Outlook to iCal and Address Book if you're also using iCloud.    That's a bit of a pain and it basically forces people to give up Outlook.   I prefer Outlook to Apple Mail, etc., and I think it was unfair of Apple to force that on us.  There's no reason why Outlook still couldn't sync to iCal and Address Book and then iCal and Address Book syncs to the Cloud.

  • Reply 72 of 92
    It does nothing to address the failure. That's what's dumb.

    I wasn't aware Apple's retail operations was considered a "failure." I assume you mean something else...?
  • Reply 73 of 92
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,305member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post



    Johnson now clearly was a failure at JCP, so don't bring him back.



    Wasn't that the argument against bringing SJ back to Apple?


    No.

  • Reply 74 of 92
    arqsagiarqsagi Posts: 1member


    Its a shame for JCP, in recent months the stores have been looking better and better, bought several christmas gifts there and have been looking for other stuff. If JCP revert to the old store will be a big dissapoinment, they wont have bigger numbers with crappy stuff and dirty stores. hope they keep the price structure with real prices no so much discounts and keep improving with new designers.

  • Reply 75 of 92
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,305member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    It does nothing to address the failure. That's what's dumb.




    I wasn't aware Apple's retail operations was considered a "failure." I assume you mean something else...?


    If you'd care to read my original post again, I was referring to Apple's HR and talent recruitment/development abilities.

  • Reply 76 of 92
    "Circumstance creates a hero and not a hero creates the circumstance."

    Ron is good at Apple mainly because in Apple, the strong infrastructures are already well built, the talents are there, the products are there, so Ron is able to made it with his own talent. However in JC Penney, the structure there is not strong at all, there is no differential products, there is no special talents to supplement Ron, so he fails badly.
  • Reply 77 of 92




    “[Johnson] doesn’t wear JCPenney stuff unless he has to.”


     


    Well, yeah. Who among us does???


     


    I don't look for this guy to be back at Apple anytime soon. He's PR poison right now and Apple has enough on its plate without the distraction of having this character hanging around HQ.

  • Reply 78 of 92
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,918member
    If you'd care to read my original post again, I was referring to Apple's HR and talent recruitment/development abilities.

    So you rather Apple hire a guy just for the sake of hiring someone instead of rehiring the guy that made Retail successful? It would be a failure to not consider him.
  • Reply 79 of 92
    rasimorasimo Posts: 61member
    jungmark wrote: »
    So you rather Apple hire a guy just for the sake of hiring someone instead of rehiring the guy that made Retail successful? It would be a failure to not consider him.

    And if he comes back to Apple that means that Samsung or Google don't get him.

    Sad to say, JCP coming back was/is a long shot, and it shows that retail isn't easy. Hopefully he learned some hard lessons that he can use back at Apple.
  • Reply 80 of 92
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post


    Apple's retail strategy was successful because of Steve's vision, and the fact that Apple had some of the most desirable products which made people want to go to an Apple store to check them out and then buy them.  Ron was just at the right place at the right time and got some of the credit for Apple's retail success.


     


    Ron's JC Penney concept made no sense from the beginning. There was nothing to draw people to a JC Penney store.


     


    Bringing Ron back to Apple would be a big mistake.



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    My wife said this right from the get-go, when the guy was appointed. (She has a much better handle on the whole dept store shopping space across-the-board than I do -- without which, of course, our whole family would be in tatters).


     


    Given what I had seen him do -- whether by accident or design -- at Apple, I originally thought she was wrong. But her insight was proven totally right!


     


    As you said, the product sold itself at Apple stores. Most of what it needed was a radically different and inviting retail space. The new JCP had the latter (without the requisite human capital), but not the former.



     


    It's easy to judge he was the wrong person for the wrong job. But there's no conclusive evidence at all.


     


    Not everyone agrees RJ was a complete bust. Not everything he did was wrong. 


     


    There are those who argue that he was ousted just as things were turning around:


     


    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lydiadishman/2013/04/09/jcpenneys-ron-johnson-exits-taking-a-vision-of-the-future-of-retail-with-him/


     


    There are those who argue that he did some good and some bad things:


     


    http://www.forbes.com/sites/pascalemmanuelgobry/2013/04/09/5-things-ron-johnson-did-right-at-jc-penney/


     


    There are those who posit he was the right man for the wrong job at the wrong time:


     


    http://fashionista.com/2013/04/ron-johnson-out-at-jc-penney-why-he-should-have-never-been-in-in-the-first-place/


     


    No one can accurately argue whether time would have proven him right. His resume at JC Penney looks bad. But clearly there were signs that things were looking up. Are two years sufficient to assess his strategy? The problem is that he was so sure of himself that he didn't negotiate a golden parachute, making it easy for the board to kick him to the curb.


     


    Furthermore, it's too easy to say that what worked for him at Apple wouldn't work elsewhere. He didn't start his career at Apple. He didn't become an overnight sensation under Jobs. Johnson's resume suggests he was well qualified to tackle the JC Penney job, perhaps even before he worked at Apple.


     


    Was he given too credit for success of Apple Stores? Was Joe Torre given too credit the Yankees' four World Series. Who can ever know? Reality is that you must give a man his due credit when a team succeeds under his stewardship. No ifs, buts and in spite of's.


     


    We can only know this much - he tried to engineer change and failed. But the failure may not be the failure of his strategy. It could well be the failure of the board to be more patient. This could have been a massive turnaround on a scale second only to that of Apple. We will never know because he was not afforded the free hand that Jobs had. I am being hyperbolic but, hopefully, some might appreciate the moral - To turn a ship around, you can't always just pick it up and flip it around. Most often, you actually have to rotate through the 180°, one degree at a time.

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