Former Retail Store Manager Steve Cano to Succeed Ron Johnson as Apple Retail Chief? [Updated]

Yesterday, we noted that Apple senior vice president for retail Ron Johnson had been removed from Apple's list of senior executives, in line with his previously-announced departure to become CEO of department store chain J.C. Penney. The transition occurred with no announcement from Apple regarding Johnson's successor.

cano johnson osaka
Steve Cano (left) and Ron Johnson (right) at 2004 grand opening of Shinsaibashi store in Osaka, Japan (Source: ifoAppleStore)

Cult of Mac now reports that Steve Cano has been elevated to the position of senior vice president for retail, heading up the successful division as part of the executive leadership team.

Apple’s new retail boss boss isn’t just some suit, though. He’s one of the first retail employees Apple ever hired, a California surfer dude who has climbed from the sales floor to the very top rung of Apple management.

It’s a real rags-to-riches story that should be inspiration to every stressed out Apple Store sales associate or overworked Genius: your work can be noticed, and you too can go to the very top.

According to our source, Apple is replacing Johnson with his long-time lieutenant, Steve Cano.

According to the report, Cano began his career at Apple ten years ago as manager of the Palo Alto retail store, later moving to open the SoHo store in New York City. Consistent with previous reports of Apple looking for a candidate with international retail experience, Cano has spent the last seven years working on Apple's international retail efforts, first in Japan as manager of the Ginza store in Tokyo and then as regional director there. Cano then moved to London, where he has been serving as senior director of international retail for the last several years.

Update: Apple has issued a brief statement to Cult of Mac indicating that the search for Johnson's successor is still continuing.

Apple has gotten back to us a statement, reading: “The search for a replacement for Ron Johnson continues, and Apple has nothing to announce about this subject at this time.”

Top Rated Comments

anotonin Avatar
161 months ago
Why are all Apple employees deeply unattractive people when their products are so beautiful?

Strange.

Aw, come on. Beauty is subjective.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
benmrii Avatar
161 months ago
I had the pleasure of working with Steve Cano at SoHo and can say that he is a great person and tremendous manager. The best part is what this quote makes me think of:
It's a real rags-to-riches story that should be inspiration to every stressed out Apple Store sales associate or overworked Genius: your work can be noticed, and you too can go to the very top.
Not only is that true for him, he makes it true for everyone on his team. He always encouraged and recognized hard work and strong employees, and he did so in two ways that have become rare in the workplace: example and trust. His example through commitment and hard work made it clear that he would never expect anyone to do something that he wasn't willing to do himself. And the trust he put in his employees was nothing short of inspirational.

If you will permit me the indulgence of one memory: to this day I remember a customer service issue at the Bar that escalated to the point of Steve joining the conversation. Contrary to what many managers would do in that situation to placate a customer, he did not belittle me or dismiss my recommendations, but instead explained to the customer that, as General Manager, he had put his trust in me for such situations, and that he was going to support my recommendation. That is not the easy way out that most would take. That is the kind of example and message that motivates an employee to excellence.

Trust me: this is a man anyone would be fortunate to work for. And if this little snippet has done anything, I hope it is a worthwhile thank you and congratulations to Steve. Well deserved!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the8thark Avatar
161 months ago
I think the article is mis-leading or confusing it's facts. They tout him as an example of how you can rise to the top from a sales associate, then state that he STARTED as a manager of a store.

Not the same thing, and getting from "unnoticed sales monkey" to "manager" is quite a fight in the jungle, IMHO.

This is very true.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AgingGeek Avatar
161 months ago
I think the article is mis-leading or confusing it's facts. They tout him as an example of how you can rise to the top from a sales associate, then state that he STARTED as a manager of a store.

Not the same thing, and getting from "unnoticed sales monkey" to "manager" is quite a fight in the jungle, IMHO.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmcalpin Avatar
161 months ago
Except the StarTAC was black or charcoal, not silver.

It came in silver, too: http://www.retrofones.com/silver-130-p-58.html
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iekozz Avatar
161 months ago
What kind of phone is Ron using in the picture?
The picture is from 2004, three years before the public introduction of the iPhone.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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