Also: JC Penney ousts former Apple store chief Ron Johnson.
Microsoft planning Xbox event for May [THE VERGE]
Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans have revealed that the event will be at a small venue with a focus on providing the very first details on the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, and Microsoft's plans for Xbox in 2013. Recent rumors have focused on reports that Microsoft's next Xbox may require an always-on internet connection. Comments by Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth, asking why there was drama over the always-on rumors and telling people to #dealwithit, forced Microsoft to issue an official apology. The Vergeunderstands that Microsoft has reminded employees that any communications about the next-generation Xbox must remain confidential, following Orth's comments.
Now, the company confirms, its architect, Apple store creator Ron Johnson, is out after a year in which the company lost an astonishing $4 billion and saw its stock price cut in half. His replacement? Myron "Mike" Ullman, the former Penney CEO—and the man Johnson and his private equity supporters, Bill Ackman of Pershing Square and Steven Roth of Vornado, helped push out.
Ullman, Ackman and Roth could not be reached for comment, but the company's chairman, Thomas Engibous, said in a press release: "We are fortunate to have someone with Mike's proven experience and leadership abilities to take the reins at the company at this important time."
Chief tries to infuse Yahoo with a start-up's spirit [THE NEW YORK TIMES]
Increasingly, entrepreneurs say, she is getting personally involved in acquisitions, focusing particularly on mobile-minded engineers. She is also trying to reverse Yahoo's reputation as a company that acquires talent and innovative technologies and then lets them wither.
Last month, Yahoo made headlines when it acquired Summly, a newsreading mobile app started by a 17-year-old in England, for an undisclosed sum. In October, it acquired Stamped, a mobile recommendation service.
In terms of downloads, Canalys says that Apple is not too far behind Google, with close to 40% of all downloads worldwide, while BlackBerry and Microsoft still hold single-digit percentage shares. Tim Shepherd, a senior analyst at Canalys, tells TechCrunch that he expects to see the gap between Google and Apple grow as Android retains its dominant position in the smart phone market globally.
In revenue numbers, however, Google has a lot of catching up to do. Compared to Apple's 74%, Google is "close to 20%," he says. The others are in single digits.
Apple kicks AppGratis out of the store for being too pushy [ALL THINGS D]
Apple declined further comment on AppGratis's ouster, framing the move as a standard response to guideline violations. But sources close to the company say it was more than a little troubled that AppGratis was pushing a business model that appeared to favor developers with the financial means to pay for exposure. "The App Store is intended as a meritocracy," a source familiar with Apple's thinking told AllThingsD.
"These numbers show the production shortage really is that bad, and my sense is that it won't get much better in the second quarter because many of those issues continue," said Dennis Chan, an analyst at Yuanta Securities Co. in Taipei, who recommends selling the stock. "For smartphones, timing is everything and the delay means they lose that timing."
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Fixing a broken retail business turns out to be a lot harder than building a new one.
FORTUNE -- Ron Johnson, the former Target (TGT) manager who tried to save the ailing J.C. Penney (JCP) using lessons he learned building Apple's (AAPL) retail empire was fired Monday.
CNBC had the scoop and the Wall Street Journal confirmed it.
"I've always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO," Johnson said when the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 8, 2013 6:06 PM ET
AT&T's new shared data plans just won't work; why the DOJ should drop its e-books suit against Apple.
JC Penney CEO: It may get worse before it gets better [FORTUNE]
Johnson also highlighted some of the improvements he is making in the stores. He announced that JC Penney had scrapped an outdated technology infrastructure and replaced it with an Oracle-based system. The new technology will allow the company to improve the in-store MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 19, 2012 5:00 AM ET
JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson addressed his naysayers at Fortune Brainstorm Tech. The transformation of the embattled retailer has only just begun.
FORTUNE -- Ron Johnson's experience building and running Apple's (AAPL) formidable retail operation was formative. It taught him to think differently and to stick to his convictions even in the face of adversity.
Now Johnson is applying these lessons to the challenging task of turning around JC Penney (JCP), the MOREMiguel Helft, senior writer - Jul 18, 2012 12:45 PM ET
Tim Cook taps John Browett, CEO of Dixons, to head his retail empire
Ron Johnson, the former Target (TGT) whiz kid who built more than 300 Apple Stores for Steve Jobs, left a gaping hole in Apple's (AAPL) management team when he departed last year to run J.C. Penney (JCP). During his seven and a half years with the company, Johnson's stores became Apple's public face -- clean, well-lighted places where MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 31, 2012 8:07 AM ET
In survey, 16% of school tech directors expect to have 1 tablet per student within 5 years
Whether counting heads at the Apple Store or buttonholing cell phone users at the Mall of America, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster is the master of the small survey that may or may not be significant.
His latest: A survey of 25 educational technology directors at a conference on integrating technology in the classroom. "While our sample MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 31, 2011 4:30 AM ET
It was a wheel that revolved around Steve Jobs. How will it change under Tim Cook?
One of my favorite elements in Adam Lashinsky's How Apple Works -- the "inside" story that created a sensation when it appeared in the May 23 issue of Fortune but was made fully available online only last week -- was the organization chart assembled by Fortune's graphics team under the guidance of senior research editor Doris MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 29, 2011 7:51 AM ET
The high-tech wundercompany landed not only on our street corners and in our malls, but also on the top 10 of Fortune's Most Admired Companies.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the March 8, 2007 issue of Fortune magazine.
By Jerry Useem
FORTUNE -- "Sorry Steve, Here's Why Apple Stores Won't Work," BusinessWeek wrote with great certainty in 2001. "It's desperation time in Cupertino, Calif.," opined TheStreet.com. "I give [Apple] two years MOREAug 26, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Hint: See the head shot, center row left, in the current "Apple Leadership" page
Jean-Louis Gassée, who worked for Apple from 1981 to 1990 and once held Steve Jobs' job as head of Mac development, was planning to use the Apple Store's 10th anniversary last May as the theme for one of his always insightful Monday Note columns. But when the day came and went without an Apple-sized splash, he sensed MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 17, 2011 7:04 PM ET
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* Apple Senior Vice President Ron Johnson, the guy largely credited for masterminding the Apple Store retail experience, is reportedly leaving for J.C. Penney, where he'll be the franchise's new president and eventual chief executive. In some ways, the move may not be all that surprising -- Johnson actually MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jun 15, 2011 6:30 AM ET
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