Apple this past Friday opened up its largest retail store to date, located in the always bustling Grand Central Station in New York City. As Apple’s retail plans continue to expand, they are somewhat juxtaposed by the departure of Ron Johnson, Apple’s retail guru who helped develop, guide, and expand Apple’s unparallelled dive into the murky world of retail.
Johnson officially left Apple for his new role as the CEO of JC Penney back in November, though word of his departure first surfaced a few months ago. Since then, Apple has been working hard to find a replacement, going so far as to tap the reputed global search agency of Egon Zehnder to find a replacement. Apple is reportedly looking for someone with broad international experience as its retail initiative continues to expand by leaps and bounds overseas.
But finding the right fit thus far has proven challenging, so much so that 9to5Mac claims that CFO Peter Oppenheimer has become Apple’s interim retail chief as the search for Johnson’s successor rages on.
Oppenheimer, a financial guru, has been put in charge of Apple’s retail operations according to sources familiar with the search for Ron Johnson’s successor. Oppenheimer is obviously an interim leader with a lack of retail experience, but his executive leadership experience is enough to give orders to his new troops: McDougal, Bridger, and Cano – who have immense retail experience. Oppenheimer won’t stay retail chief forever, and is simply holding the spot until the new Senior Vice President of Retail is selected. Oppenheimer’s title at Apple has not changed from Senior Vice President and CFO, he has just gained the new responsibility of the Apple retail division for the time being.
As with all things Apple, it seems that the company is willing to wait as long as it takes to find the person with the right fit for the position. Not terribly surprising for a company as patient and detail oriented as Apple.