Former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson fired from J.C. PenneyApril 8, 2013: 6:06 PM ET
Fixing a broken retail business turns out to be a lot harder than building a new one.
"I've always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO," Johnson said when the move to Penney was announced nearly two years ago, "and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help J. C. Penney re-imagine what I believe to be the single greatest opportunity in American retailing today, the Department Store."
But his strategy -- selling boutique brands at fixed prices to customers raised on clearance sales -- failed spectacularly. The company lost $4.3 billion in sales in 2012, including a 28.4% drop in the all-important holiday season.
His replacement at Apple -- former Dixon's CEO John Browett -- also failed spectacularly. He was hired in April last year and fired in October. Tim Cook has yet to name a replacement, which means Johnson's old post is still vacant.