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Apple retail chief Ron Johnson officially departs

Ron Johnson, Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail Operations for the last 11 years, has officially left Apple today. Back in June, Apple said that Johnson would be leaving the company on November 1st to become the CEO of J.C. Penney. Johnson joined Apple in 2000 and is largely credited with helping Apple gain a distinct retail presence. Among his contributions to Apple retail stores was the Genius Bar, which is now found in every Apple store and something Steve Jobs was initially against.

Interestingly, Apple hasn't yet found a replacement for Johnson. In August the Cupertino company hired the recruiting firm Egon Zehnder International with Steve Jobs's order to find an international replacement for Johnson. As I wrote then: Apple has repeatedly said that their international expansion is a driving force in both their profits and sales. Given that China, a country which Apple had virtually no presence in until very recently, seems key to Apple's growth, its likely that Ron Johnson's replacement could very well come from the Asia Pacific territory or someone with extensive knowledge and experience in the territory.

Ron Johnson's name, picture, and bio have already been removed from Executive Profiles page.

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