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Ron Johnson Launching Gadget Delivery Service, Poaching Apple Employees

ronjohnsonApple's former retail chief Ron Johnson is planning to launch a "high-end, on-demand delivery service for gadgets, reports The Information's Jessica Lessin. The startup has reportedly been described as "Best Buy's Geek Squad meets Apple's Genius Bar."

MacRumors has heard similar rumors about Johnson's startup plans, with a source suggesting he's been attempting to recruit former and current Apple employees, including Jerry McDougal, who once served as Apple's vice president of retail under Johnson.

Before leaving Apple, Johnson worked at the company for more than 10 years. He's largely credited with transforming the Apple retail experience and setting the company on a path towards rapid retail growth. In 2011, Johnson left the company to take over as CEO of J.C. Penney, a position that he held for just two years.

Following Johnson's departure, Apple's retail division was left in flux, with no successor named. John Browett, formerly CEO of Dixons Retail, took over as head of retail at Apple in 2012, but he was ousted later that same year. Apple remained without a retail chief until the hiring of Angela Ahrendts, former Burberry CEO, who officially joined the company in May 2014.



Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
well considering his last venture in retail was a disaster (JC Penney). He almost put a 100+ year old retail company out of business by being completely out of touch.

I don't see this going past idea stage.
Rating: 10 Votes
24 months ago

I wish Ron was still at Apple....


What for?
Rating: 7 Votes
24 months ago
What the hell is an on-demand delivery service for gadgets?
Rating: 7 Votes
24 months ago
I wish Ron was still at Apple....
Rating: 6 Votes
24 months ago
RON!!! How could you do this to us?! Your poop mouth! Look what you're doing to Brick!
Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago
Will they be hiring Chuck?

Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago
Ron Johnson- grasping at straws. This sounds like a horrible idea.
Rating: 4 Votes
24 months ago
He who smelt it....

This gentleman fell flat on his face in the retail business when he was handed the keys to a large business with stores across the country. My gut is that much of the concept work for the apple retail experience was conceptualized by someone else and executed in development by this man much the pay that a project manner oversees the development of the plans of an architect. It took an incredibly obtuse and arrogant person to fiddle with J.C. Penny and make an enemy of everyone from bottom tier retail worker to top board member. He was run out on a rail. It is ironic that he did not want to stay at apple, but he still wants to make a living off apple. It is somewhat vampirish.
Rating: 3 Votes
24 months ago

I don't understand all the Ron Johnson hate here. He was successful at Target, and is a big reason for the success of the Apple Stores. He may not be as good as Angela Ahrendts in selling a $5,000 Apple Watch Edition, but should be recognized for what he did accomplish. As for JC Penney they were a dying company. The status quo wasn't working. He made a risky move that didn't pan out. That's why it was called a risky move. Heck, Steve Jobs took some risks that didn't pan out. Sometimes the biggest successes in business are also the biggest failures. If you don't try you won't adapt, either.


Regarding Ron Johnson, I thought he had a lot of good ideas, basically wanting to turn JCP into an Apple Store like experience to attract new clientele with more money while also harkening back to an earlier day in department stores. His idea to get rid of the gimmick of department store coupons and just give the prices without the coupons was a good one in theory.

What Johnson now admits (in a recent interview) is that he should have test marketed on a small scale with just a few stores at first. Instead, he made all the changes, all at once with his foot on the gas. He said that he offered to step down months before he did. If it's any consolation to his detractors, he did lose a helluva lot of his OWN money -- his Apple stock was cashed out and converted to JCP stock. And unlike many high stakes CEOs who screw up, he didn't get a golden parachute.

I say live and let live with a second chance of his own making--good luck, although I doubt that I will be using his service.
Rating: 3 Votes
24 months ago

"Poaching" is such a loaded word.


I prefer scrambled.
Rating: 3 Votes

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