Retailer JC Penney has appointed Apple retail supremo Ron Johnson as its new CEO, replacing Mike Ullman III who becomes the company’s executive chairman.

Johnson, who takes up his post on 1 November, will join the JC Penney board on 1 August, after 11 years as senior vice president of retail at Apple.

He also worked at Target Corporation, where he was a key merchandising executive.

Ullman said of Johnson: “He is widely recognised and highly regarded in the retail industry for his creativity and innovation, his commitment to empowering employees to deliver an unparalleled customer experience, and to making stores exciting places where people love to shop.”

Johnson added: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help JC Penney reimagine what I believe to be the single greatest opportunity in American retailing today, the department store.”

Meanwhile, Johnson has committed to make a personal investment in the stock of JC Penney worth US$50m.