The birth of J.C. Penney's leader

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2012 8:29 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — NAME: Ron Johnson

OCCUPATION: Chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co.

AGE: 53

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 at Apple, the consumer electronics giant 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, a place inside Apple stores 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 time 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.

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Johnson began his retailing career in 1984 as a trainee with Mervyns, the now defunct retailer that was formerly owned by The Dayton Hudson Corp. During his time at Mervyns, he spent half of his time working in the men's clothing department.

FAVORITE DEPARTMENT STORE GROWING UP: Dayton's at the Southdale Mall in Edina, Minn., where Johnson's family bought their first color TV.

QUOTE: "Throughout my life, I have always had this deep desire to do things that matter."