Apple Store Seeks New Leader
Ever since it was announced in June that Ron Johnson was leaving Apple to take the helm of J.C. Penney, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not he would help to reinvent the department store. Many seem quite optimistic, at the very least, in Mr. Johnson’s ability to get Penney turned around, even if he falls short of achieving revolutionary changes at the chain. Eighty-five percent of respondents to a RetailWire poll thought he would have a very (50 percent) or somewhat positive effect (35 percent) on Penney’s performance.
With all the hoopla surrounding Penney, the other side of the coin is the question of what Mr. Johnson’s departure means for Apple’s retail business.
A report on The Wall Street Journal site, citing sources familiar with the situation, said Apple has taken the "unusual" step of hiring an international search firm to find a new leader.
The Journal piece speculated that Apple may be looking for an executive from outside the U.S. as the company focuses more of its attention on expanding overseas. Apple currently has stores in 10 countries outside the U.S. representing roughly 30 percent of its total units, according to Mac Rumors.
Some of the speculation is that Apple may be looking for an executive familiar with Asian markets. The chain is looking to aggressively expand in the region and plans to open 25 new stores in China alone over the next two years.
- Apple Store Exec to Lead J.C. Penney – RetailWire
- Apple Looks Abroad for Stores Chief – The Wall Street Journal
- Apple’s Search for New Retail Chief Extending Internationally – Mac Rumors
Discussion Questions: What direction would you be taking if you were looking for a replacement for Ron Johnson at Apple? How important, for example, do you think international retailing experience is for the new leader of Apple’s retail business?