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Apple retail vice president Jerry McDougal steps down

Apple's vice president of retail, Jerry McDougal, a one-time candidate to lead the company's chain of stores, has exited the company, according to reports.

McDougal said goodbye to his colleagues last week, according to ifoAppleStore, which first reported the news, citing unnamed sources. McDougal reportedly left the company to spend more time with family, not for work-related reasons.

Jim Bean, a vice president in Apple's financial division, will take over McDougal's position, Apple told AllThingsD.

"Retail has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level, and they will continue the excellent work they've done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services and a focus on the customer that is second to none," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in a statement to AllThingsD. "Jim Bean is moving to Retail to help support our store teams. Jim has been at Apple for 15 years and is a great leader who understands our culture and focus on customer service."

The latest departure comes as Apple continues to search for a new retail head after John Browett was dismissed in October after less than a year on the job. McDougal, who began his career at Apple in 2000 working closely with former retail head and Genius Bar creator Ron Johnson (now CEO at JC Penney), was rumoured to be a candidate for the open senior vice president of retail position.

With McDougal out, Apple is rumoured to be focused on two other long-time employees: Bob Bridger, vice president of development, and Steve Cano, vice president of management, according to ifoAppleStore.