Microsoft is borrowing (another) page from Apple by tapping George Blankenship to consult with the company to help develop its fleet of Microsoft retail stores. Mr. Blankenship served as Apple's chief real estate executive, and he was responsible for scouting and developing the prime retail spaces Apple choose for its initial Apple Store locations.
Mr. Blankenship himself was tapped by Apple from The Gap, Inc., where he had worked for Apple board member and former Gap CEO Millard Drexler. Apple was thought to model its early Apple Stores on The Gap's retail approach, with the help, in part, of Mr. Blankenship's experience.
According to TechFlash, which first broke the story, Mr. Blankenship will not be a full time employee for Big Redmond, but rather a consultant.
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner, a former Wal-Mart executive, revealed only last week that his company would be placing at least some of its Microsoft Stores right next or in close proximity to Apple's own retail stores, an effort that has been no doubt assisted by Mr. Blankenship.