updated 11:45 am EDT, Tue November 1, 2011
Leaves fate of Apple retail chain in question
Ron Johnson has now officially left his post as the head of Apple's retail division, but with no known successor, reports note. Today marks the start of Johnson's new position as the CEO of retailer JC Penney. Accordingly, a listing for Johnson has been newly removed from Apple's Executive Profiles page.
How Apple intends to cope with Johnson's absence is unknown. The executive is credited with much of the success of the Apple Store chain, growing the number of outlets into the hundreds, and spearheading core concepts like the Genius Bar. Apple has been searching for a replacement since June, but has not said how it will handle retail operations without a clear leader for them. The situation has likely been worsened since the resignation and later death of Steve Jobs, since the former CEO was famous for micromanaging Apple, including its retail presence.
Although Johnson is formally in control of JC Penney, his initial duties will be limited to marketing and merchandising. He will only assume total control after February 1st, completing a three-month transition with help from his predecessor, Myron Ullman III.