In a candid new interview with Fortune, former Apple retail chief and new J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson opens up about how he convinced late Apple boss Steve Jobs to shed his initial vision for what would become the company’s hugely successful retail presence. According to Johnson, Jobs originally wanted Apple stores to be tailored to business and creative professionals, not general consumers. “I said, ‘Well, then I’m not coming. If you want to be a store for all Americans, sign me up,'” Johnson admits of his earlier talks with Jobs. Johnson admits, not surprisingly, that Jobs was at first stubborn about changing course with the retail strategy. But eventually, he conceded. And Jobs told his team of the new direction by walking into a meeting one day and abruptly dropping the news. “Ron thinks this store is all wrong,” Jobs said, “and he’s right. We’re going to start over.” In retrospect, Johnson was clearly right and helped Apple turn a pretty penny by moving away from Jobs’ original vision. Today, with 360 Apple stores around the world at an approximate value of $7,000 per square foot, Apple was well served by Ron Johnson, who is now dedicated to helping J.C. Penney return to its glory days of retail. Source: Fortune  

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