updated 04:25 pm EST, Fri December 9, 2011
Apple uses Oppenheimer as interim retail lead
Apple's chief finance officer Peter Oppenheimer is temporarily filling in as the company's retail lead while it looks for a replacement for former retail senior VP Ron Johnson, a rumor maintained Friday. He was considered an interim leader by 9to5's source and was delegating broader orders to Real Estate VP Bob Bridger, international retail operations director Steve Cano, and merchandising VP Jerry McDougal. Neither Bridger nor McDougal were considered in the running, although one rumor had Cano as a candidate.
Bridger and Cano were asked about the possible tips, but declined to comment.
The iPhone producer is rumored to be going to great lengths to get a suitable replacement for Johnson, who jumped over to JC Penney to provide a similar experience as its CEO. It's thought to have tapped Egon Zehnder International to conduct an external search for its retail lead even as it looks inside. The decision contrasts sharply with the choice of CEO, where Jobs and Apple had already hand-picked Tim Cook.
Johnson's retail strategy, in tandem with some of the late Steve Jobs' requests, led to the bright, open, service-focused stores that are partly credited with saving Apple's brand and giving users experience they couldn't have otherwise.