Apple has been without a head of retail for nearly a year. Since John Browett was hired and quickly fired last year, Tim Cook has been in charge of the company’s retail operations. Apple has made it clear that it’s on the hunt for a new executive to fill the role, but there hasn’t been any candidates to fit the bill.
While Apple does occasionally make high-profile hires from other companies, promotions often happen from the inside. Tim Cook himself is an example. He was Chief Operations Officer before Steve Jobs died and made him CEO.
As Apple continues to seek a new retail leader, don’t expect the position to be filled by someone currently on Apple’s roster. But that doesn’t necessarily rule out former employees.
The Wall Street Journal has published a doom and gloom piece on Apple Retail titled, “Apple Stores Suffer From Sameness.” The main point of the article is that Apple reported the first slip in retail sales since 2009 last quarter. And the short tenure of Browett highlighted how difficult it is for executives to work within Apple after coming in from the outside. When Browett was in charge, customer satisfaction took a backseat to sales and cutting operating costs. That kind of typical business attitude doesn’t usually work at Apple.
There are good people at Apple who are currently running retail, but the higher-ups are still looking outside for some reason. “Apple doesn’t consider internal candidates to be an option” for the retail head position, according to the Journal.
Ron Johnson helped build the original Apple Store with Steve Jobs, and no one knows the ‘Apple way’ for retail like he does. After leaving Apple to be the CEO of JC Penny, Johnson failed at turning the company around because of the very reasons that made him successful at Apple. If Apple refuses to promote any of its mid-level retail execs, maybe it should get its old boss back.
Johnson was fired from JC Penny back in April, and no one knows what he’s up to now. Perhaps a return to home is in order?
Source: The Wall Street Journal.