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Apple loses retail exec: is it close to hiring a new SVP?

Still in the process of finding a senior vice president to lead its retail store empire, Apple(s AAPL) has lost another important retail executive: Jerry McDougal, vice president of retail, who left the company earlier this month, several reports said Tuesday.

It happened last Friday, according to IFO Apple Store, which first reported the news. Apple has moved quickly to fill McDougal’s position, picking Jim Bean, 15-year Apple veteran who moves over from VP of Finance, Apple confirmed to AllThingsD.

Officially, McDougal is said to have left Apple to “spend more time with his family,” but there’s probably a little more to it than a mid-career executive wanting a break. McDougal was said to be a candidate to fill the SVP of Retail role that has been vacant since John Browett was let go in October. McDougal’s departure likely means he was passed over for the position for the second time since Ron Johnson left in late 2011. That could also signal that Tim Cook is getting closer to naming a permanent replacement.

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