If Apple retail vice president Jerry McDougal was on the short list to head up the company's retail efforts, that list might now be even shorter.
McDougal took off from Apple last week, says IfoAppleStore. Citing sources, the blog -- which has obsessively tracked Apple's retail goings-on -- says McDougal plans to spend more time with his family, a move that puts him out of the running to replace John Browett, whom Apple fired last October.
The blog goes on to say that McDougal was effectively the "right-hand man," of former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson. Johnson left Apple after a decade in 2011 to become the chief executive of JC Penney and was replaced by Browett, who came from U.K. electronics retailer Dixons.
McDougal's departure was confirmed by Apple to AllThingsD, along with a statement noting that McDougal has been replaced with 15-year Apple veteran Jim Beam, who previously headed up the company's finance group.
Apple is currently on the hunt for a new retail chief after removing Browett from the position after just six months. At the time, Apple said it was in the midst of finding a replacement, and that its retail team was reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook. McDougal's name has since come up in reports about possible internal successors, though Apple could still end up going with an outsider.
The search comes as Apple's retail empire continues to grow. Apple opened up 33 retail stores during its fiscal 2012, and is now up to 400 stores. Most of those locations are in the U.S., however Apple has been expanding into other countries -- including 18 new stores that were in 10 countries during its fiscal fourth quarter. Last October the company announced plans to open another 30 to 35 stores in 2013.