Apple confirmed in June this year that Ron Johnson, the company’s retail chief, was planning to leave Apple to pursue his dream of becoming the CEO of a large retail chain. The Cupertino computer vendor has now removed Johnson’s profile from the executive bios page.“I have tremendous confidence in JC Penney's future and look forward to working with Mike Ullman, the Executive Board and the Company's 150,000 associates to transform the way America shops," Johnson said in June.
An Apple spokesperson confirmed his departure at the time, saying “Ron is excited about this opportunity and we hope it goes well for him. We’ve got a great retail team in place and are actively recruiting for his replacement.”
Under Ron’s leadership, Apple has opened over 300 stores worldwide.
He joined Apple as senior vice president in January 2000 and reported directly to the late Steve Jobs - then the company’s CEO.
Johnson has led Apple’s retail strategy and has been responsible for its overall execution and performance.
At the time he was announcing his departure, Johnson had already committed to make a personal investment of $50 million in JC Penney through the purchase of seven 1/2-year warrants on 7.257 million shares.
"I've always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help J. C. Penney re-imagine what I believe to be the single greatest opportunity in American retailing today, the Department Store,” Mr. Johnson said in June.
Johnson is also noted for launching and leading the Design Initiative at Target, another retail chain in the United States.
Johnson received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his Bachelor of Arts at Stanford in Economics.