Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may want Ron Johnson back. It was announced on Monday that he was out as CEO at struggling retailer J.C. Penney Company (NYSE:JCP). Initially shares of J.C. Penney jumped 11 percent after the news, although this morning at the moment of this writing, the stock is down more than 7 percent.
Of course prior to taking the helm of J.C. Penney Company (NYSE:JCP), Johnson headed up Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s retail division, where he helped build the company up. In fact, activist investor Bill Ackman’s decision to recruit Johnson to turn J.C. Penney around was undoubtedly based on his success with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s retail division.
However, Johnson’s decision to get rid of the regular sales cycles J.C. Penney was known for and replace them with an everyday low price strategy just didn’t work. The retail chain’s shoppers just didn’t have much in common with those Johnson was used to dealing with at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Also turning 1,100 outdated stores around proved to be a much different task than starting new stores for a tech giant like Apple.
Apple Insider points out that when Johnson left Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), he took with him a number of others from the company’s retail division. John Browett was selected to fill Johnson’s shoes at Apple, and it turned out that his moves as retail chief were as unpopular as the ones Johnson made while at J.C. Penney.
Browett left the company back in October and CEO Tim Cook has been mostly heading up the retail division ever since. This could be the tech giant’s opportunity to get Johnson back since it hasn’t found a successful candidate for his position.
Of course Johnson’s return depends entirely on whether he and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are both interested in working together again.