Ron Johnson, the man who helped Apple revolutionize retail with the Apple Stores, is leaving to take over the CEO spot at JC Penny. Apple has issued the following statement to All Things D:
“Ron is excited about this opportunity and we hope it goes well for him,” a spokesperson said. “We’ve got a great retail team in place and are actively recruiting for his replacement.”
And JC Penny states that Johnson isn't just taking over, he's taking on a large investment as well:
As a demonstration of his confidence in J. C. Penney’s long-term potential, Mr. Johnson requested and has committed to make a personal investment of $50 million in the Company through the purchase, at fair market value, of 7 1/2-year warrants on 7.257 million shares ofJ. C. Penney Company stock. The warrants cannot be sold or hedged for the first six years of their term and have a strike price of $29.92, the closing price of the stock on the business day prior to Mr. Johnson’s commitment to purchase the warrants.
Apple Retail's last big splash was the installation of iPads as information centers for all Apple products. Apple has probably institutionalized Apple Store procedures to the extent that Johnson's leaving won't have a huge impact, and it will be interesting to see if an influx of fresh blood -- and fresh ideas -- in the top retail spot can help take Apple further.
Anyone worried this means a lot of glass, wood, and aluminum are on their way to JC Penny outlets everywhere?