This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

If Apple Hires Ron Johnson, I'll Buy a PC

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I recall the CEO Yahoo! (YHOO) had to fire -- Scott Thompson -- because he apparently lied on his resume. That was clearcut deception. The guy has a resume, somebody raises a red flag, you investigate, the claim checks out, you move on. All's well that ends well. The company recovers -- eventually -- making a bold move naming Marissa Mayer CEO.

At JC Penney (JCP), Ron Johnson didn't have to lie. His reputation preceded him. He was, so the fairy tale goes, Apple's (AAPL) retail architect. Enough said.

It would be unfair to say Ron Johnson deceived JC Penney. He didn't lie because, as George Costanza said, It's not a lie . . . if you believe it.

It's difficult to blame Johnson for the "crime" he did commit: Being delusional. It's tough to ignore your own press clippings. It's easy to discount the impact of Steve Jobs, taking credit for the success your CEO drove and then effectively disrespecting him with the story of your exit from Apple.


From one poet, Costanza, to another, Springsteen: Is a dream a lie if it don't come true. Or is it something worse?

As it turns out it was a total pipe dream to think Ron Johnson ever was the visionary JC Penney requires. Doesn't matter who says he did, there's no way Johnson did anything but exactly what Steve Jobs told him to do with Apple retail. If he took the lead on anything other than implementing Jobs' plans, he sure as hell would not have driven JCP into the ground kamikaze style. If you have the talent to create the Apple retail experience, there's no way you can fail beyond miserably at your new gig.

The talk that Apple would even consider bringing Johnson back only reinforces how poorly most of the tech and financial media misunderstands this company post-Steve Jobs.

Consider Erica Ogg, writing for GigaOM :

Yes, [Apple SVP of Retail is] Johnson's old job, the one that he held for more than 10 years. And he was really, really good at it. The establishment of Apple Stores in 2001, which he helped implement, ushered in Apple's greatest era of prosperity. With the physical stores' minimalist design that perfectly reflected Apple's ethos and aesthetic appeal, and a tightly curated range of products for sale, Johnson's Apple Store concept has attracted millions of visitors each year and inspired many imitators, even among the company's most direct competitors.
. . . Apple hasn't found anyone to fill the position (at least anyone that would accept the job) that could live up to Johnson's legacy.
. . . Cook has reportedly been searching for the right candidate ...
Perhaps today's news offers a clue as to what Cook has been waiting for: to make an offer to Johnson.


Note how Ogg uses "which he helped implement" interchangeably with "Johnson's Apple Store concept." And, like so much Apple coverage, she refuses -- or, worse yet, just cannot see -- what's really wrong.

It's not that Apple cannot find the right person for the retail job. It's that Apple executives -- retail or otherwise -- no longer ride shotgun with Steve Jobs. That's what Apple needs to deal with -- how to proceed without Steve Jobs. You don't just move on, without missing a beat, from such a massive loss.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs