Ron Johnson, who in 11 years steered the Apple store into a chain of 300 locations, has been lured away to be the next chief executive of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. In addition to $1.5 million in annual base salary, which can double with performance bonuses, Johnson will be granted warrants to buy $50 million in restricted stock in the middle-of-the-road department store chain at a strike price of $29.92 a share. The stock closed after news of his hiring broke at $35.37, up 18 percent. He takes over from Mike Ullman, who becomes executive chairman, on Nov. 1. Under Johnson, the Apple stores raised the customer service standard for selling tech products, pioneered how to link the Internet with physical stores and generated as much business ($36 million a year) as a typical mall department store in one tenth the space. Citing low hourly pay, a San Francisco store worker last week kicked off the first campaign to unionize Apple store workers.
J.C. Penney Co. gets new CEO from Apple
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