Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson Leaving Apple to Become CEO of JC Penney

Apple is losing one of the integral architects of the company’s highly successful retail strategy.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Apple’s chief of retail operations, Ron Johnson, will be leaving the Cupertino, California-based tech juggernaut to become the new CEO of JC Penney.

The loss for Apple is significant, especially since Johnson has served for the past 11 years as senior vice president of retail at Apple. During that period, Johnson helped craft and launch Apple’s retail platform, which has resulted in some 300 thriving Apple stores around the world.

Prior to working at Apple, Johnson spent 15 years with the Target corporation.

On Tuesday morning, JC Penney issued a formal press release about Johnson’s installment as CEO, effective Nov. 1 of this year.

“I’ve always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO,” Johnson said in the release, “and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help JC Penney re-imagine what I believe to be the single greatest opportunity in American retailing today, the Department Store. I have tremendous confidence in J. C. 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.”

“I am delighted that Ron is joining our Board and the Company, and look forward to working with him as we continue to transform the JC Penney brand,” says outgoing CEO Mike Ullman. “He is widely recognized and highly regarded in the retail industry for his creativity and innovation, his commitment to empowering employees to deliver an unparalleled customer experience, and to making stores exciting places where people love to shop. His tremendous accomplishments at Apple and Target speak to his great consumer merchandising, marketing and operational talent.”