|Apple's SVP Retail moves to retail chain JC Penny as CEO|
Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice president of Retail, will move to retail chain JC Penny as CEO.
Ron Johnson. Apple's senior vice president of retail and the man accredited with the company's retail successes will move to head retail chain JC Penny.
Johnson joined Apple as senior vice president in January 2000 and reported directly to the CEO. His profile on Apple's website accredited him with leading the company's retail strategy, including its execution and performance, which has seen Apple open over 300 stores. An MBA from Harvard and BA Economics from Stanford University, Johnson has two decades of experience in retail and merchandising. He previously held many management positions at another retailer, the Target Corporation.
In a statement issued by JC Penny, Johnson said, "I've always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO, 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."
The statement also said that Johnson, as part of his move, would personally invest $50 million at “fair market value” 7½-year warrants on 7.257 million shares of J. C. Penney Company stock. The warrants have a six year lock-in period and also have a strike price of $29.92, the closing price of the stock on the business day prior to his commitment to purchase the warrants. Media reports explained that if the price of the JC Penny stock in six years, when Johnson's investment matures, is at or below $29.92, he stands to lose his $50 million investment. However, the market reacted favorably to the news of him taking over the reins at the retail chain, pushing JC Penny's stock up 17.5% post the announcement of his appointment to $35.37. For now, he's already made some money on his investment, though his eventual gains remain a matter of speculation for the next six years.
Image: Courtesy of Apple