Tuesday, June 14, 2011

J.C. Penney Nabs Apple Senior VP of Retail, Rob Johnson

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J.C. Penney has hired Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Operations Ron Johnson to be its new President and eventual CEO., according to the WSJ.

The company is expected to announce Mr. Johnson's appointment later today. Mr. Johnson will become CEO in the next few months, succeeding long-time leader Myron "Mike" Ullman. He joined Apple from Target Corp., where he was vice president of merchandising for stores.

Ron joined Apple in January 2000 after having worked as vice president of merchandising for Target.

Here's Apple Bio on Johnson:

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Ron Johnson joined Apple as senior vice president in January 2000. Reporting directly to the CEO, Johnson leads Apple's retail strategy and is responsible for its overall execution and performance. Under Ron's leadership, Apple has opened over 300 stores to date. Johnson has over 20 years of experience in retail and merchandising as well as a strong track record for delivering consistent year over year growth for billion-dollar companies.

Before joining Apple, Johnson held various management positions at the Target Corporation, most recently as Vice President of Merchandising for Target Stores. In this capacity, Johnson presided over a successful period of growth at Target, playing a key role in developing new initiatives for branding, marketing and merchandising. He led the team responsible for launching the Michael Graves exclusive line of products, as well as the addition of other key brands to the store’s selection.

Johnson received his M.B.A. from Harvard and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University.
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This is definitely a coup for J.C. Penney and an unfortunately loss for Apple.


Update: Official Announcement
Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer of J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP), today announced that Ron Johnson, an innovative and highly regarded retail executive, has been named the Company's next chief executive officer, succeeding Mr. Ullman in that role. Mr. Johnson will assume the CEO position on Nov. 1, 2011, and report to Mr. Ullman, who will become executive chairman. Mr. Johnson will also join the Company's Board of Directors, effective Aug. 1, 2011.

Mr. Johnson, 52, has served for the past 11 years as senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc., where he led its retail strategy, which from its start in 2001 now numbers over 300 stores in the U.S. and abroad. He joined Apple after 15 years at Target Corporation, where he was a key merchandising executive.

Mr. Ullman said, "I am delighted that Ron is joining our Board and the Company, and look forward to working with him as we continue to transform the jcpenney brand. He is widely recognized and highly regarded in the retail industry for his creativity and innovation, his commitment to empowering employees to deliver an unparalleled customer experience, and to making stores exciting places where people love to shop. His tremendous accomplishments at Apple and Target speak to his great consumer merchandising, marketing and operational talent."

Thomas J. Engibous, lead director of J. C. Penney Company's Board, said, "The Company has made outstanding strides under Mike Ullman's leadership and it has great potential ahead thanks to the Long Range Plan for growth he and the management team developed and are executing, which includes top management succession planning. The progress made under Mike's leadership is reflected in the Company's ability to attract an executive of Ron Johnson's talent and track record as it continues to focus on achieving its objective of becoming America's most exciting place to shop. We look forward to Ron joining our Board and then to his assuming the chief executive role as he, Mike and their team work towards achieving the Company's goals."

Mr. Johnson said, "I've always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO, 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. I have tremendous confidence in J. C. Penney's future and look forward to working with Mike Ullman, the Executive Board and the Company's 150,000 associates to transform the way America shops."

As a demonstration of his confidence in J. C. Penney's long-term potential, Mr. Johnson requested and has committed to make a personal investment of $50 million in the Company through the purchase, at fair market value, of 7 1/2-year warrants on 7.257 million shares ofJ. C. Penney Company stock. The warrants cannot be sold or hedged for the first six years of their term and have a strike price of $29.92, the closing price of the stock on the business day prior to Mr. Johnson's commitment to purchase the warrants.



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Apple Says Samsung Request for the iPhone 5, iPad 3 is an 'Attempt to Harass'

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Apple's says Samsung's request to see the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 is an 'improper attempt to harass '.

Samsung's Motion to Compel is an improper attempt to harass Apple by demanding production of extremely sensitive trade secrets that have no relevance to Apple's likelihood of success on its infringement claims or to a preliminary injunction motion. Apple made a compelling showing in its motion to expedite discovery that Apple needs samples of products that Samsung has already announced, distributed, and described, so that Apple can evaluate whether to file a preliminary injunction motion against those products, which look strikingly similar to the distinctive trade dress of Apple's current products. Samsung has made no such showing about Apple's future products. Therefore, Samsung's Motion to Compel should be denied

FOSS Patents has a nice analysis of each parties position on the matter. Apple's position seems a bit stronger especially considering it has never announced or even hinted that the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 exist.

You can read more at this link.



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Apple Pays to License Nokia Patents

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Apple has agreed to license Nokia patents and make a one-time lump sum payment to company, ending the patent litigation between the two.

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Nokia announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with Apple. The agreement will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia and Apple of their respective complaints to the US International Trade Commission.

The financial structure of the agreement consists of a one-time payment payable by Apple and on-going royalties to be paid by Apple to Nokia for the term of the agreement. The specific terms of the contract are confidential.

"We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees," said Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Nokia. "This settlement demonstrates Nokia's industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market."

During the last two decades, Nokia has invested approximately EUR 43 billion in research and development and built one of the wireless industry's strongest and broadest IPR portfolios, with over 10,000 patent families. Nokia is a world leader in the development of handheld device and mobile communications technologies, which is also demonstrated by Nokia's strong patent position.

This agreement is expected to have a positive financial impact on Nokia's recently revised outlook for the second quarter 2011 of around break-even non-IFRS operating margin for Devices & Services.





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This Year's Back to School Promo Will Only Be a $100 iTunes Gift Card?

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This year's Back to School promo may only offer a $100 iTunes Gift Card instead of the iPod touch offered in previous years, according to 9to5Mac.

In year's past, Apple's Back to School promotion offered students their usual educational discount plus a free iPod with any purchase of a Mac. This year, 9to5Mac has been told, will be very different. In fact, Apple will not be offering free iPods during this promotion but will instead offer a $100 iTunes gift card.

Earlier rumors had the promotion pegged to be an iPod touch or $200 off an iPad. If these new rumors are true it would be a big disappointment to students waiting to take advantage of the special.

The Back to School promotion is expected to begin on Wednesday.





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