Apple May Hire Next Retail Operations Head from Abroad

iPhone maker Apple is reportedly considering hiring a new head for its retail operations from outside the US.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Apple has hired recruiting firm Egon Zehnder International to help it search for a new retail head as Ron Johnson is set to leave the company on November 1 to become the CEO of J.C Penny.

Egon Zehnder has declined to comment on whether the firm has been hired for the Apple assignment.

Johnson is the man behind Apple’s retail success and started by opening only two retail outlets in 2001 to reduce Apple’s reliance on third party sellers. His move proved quite fruitful for Apple in the long run.

His departure will come as Apple prepares to open several international retail outlets. The company plans to open 40 new retail outlets in this fiscal year, out of which 28 will be opened outside the United States.

The company already has 327 retail outlets the world over, which raked in $3.5 billion in revenue during the third quarter.

The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the story, informs that the Apple CEO Steve Jobs was the one who suggested hiring an outside firm to hunt for the retail chief as “he wants to consider executives who are based abroad”.