J.C. Penney Poaches Apple Exec

    Ron Johnson, Senior Vice President of Retail Apple, speaks at the Apple Store in the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai, China, July 8, 2010.

Apple will open its first Apple Store in Shanghai in Pudong New Area on July 10 as the culture-changing company, designer of the iPhone and iPad, bids to penetrate its footprint on the Chinese mainland. The Pudong store is one of two new stores opening in Shanghai in the summer and counts among the 25 new Apple Stores that the companys Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said would open on the mainland by the end of 2011. Apples new store, located at the foot of the International Finance Center in Pudongs Lujiazui area, features the second underground design of a 44-meter-tall glass cylinder, which is also in Apples flagship New York City store on Fifth Avenue.

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    Ron Johnson is about to take a serious leap from the hippest of all retail stores to one of the dowdiest. Luckily for him, it will come with a big promotion. Johnson, who currently heads Apple’s retail arm, will become chief executive of J.C. Penney in November. Johnson has been widely lauded for taking Apple stores—a concept that many critics felt was doomed—and creating a juggernaut out of the steel-and-glass emporia. Penney’s been chasing him for some time, first contacting him three or four years ago and finally sealing the deal. Current CEO Myron Ullman III will become the company’s executive chairman.

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