NAME: Ron Johnson
OCCUPATION: Chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co.
FAMILY: Wife, Karen, one daughter, one son.
EDUCATION: Stanford University, BA, economics, 1980; Harvard Business School, 1984.
RESUME: Johnson became chief executive of J.C. Penney in November 2011. Before joining Penney, he worked as Apple Inc.'s senior vice president of retail for 11 years and pioneered the company's highly successful retail stores. During his time, Apple expanded to more than 300 retail stores worldwide with $15 billion in revenue. He has been credited for developing such innovations as The Genius Bar, where customers can get hands-on technical support.
Johnson joined Apple from Target Corp, where over a span of 15 years, he held a number of different roles including vice president of merchandise. During his career there, he was responsible for men's clothing, women's clothing and accessories, children's and home furnishings. Under his leadership, Target launched its first design initiative featuring a home collection from architect Michael Graves. That move helped to develop Target's image as a cheap chic discounter.
Johnson began his retailing career in 1984 as a trainee with the now defunct Mervyns, which was formerly owned by The Dayton Hudson Corp. During his first retail job at Mervyns, he spent half the time on the floor in the men's clothing department.
OTHER: A member of the board of Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.
FAVORITE DEPARTMENT STORE GROWING UP: Dayton's at the Southdale Mall in Edina, Minn., where Johnson's family bought their first color TV.
WHERE HE SHOPS NOW: Johnson says he shops at lots of different stores from Target and Levi's to high-end Italian clothier Zegna.
QUOTE: "I didn't come here to improve. I came here to transform. Every single leader in America who works to improve their business year after year...can create gradual results, but the only question is, how fast did you improve compared to someone else? You don't fundamentally change your position in the marketplace."
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