With Ron Johnson, the "wunderkind" of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail experience, out of work and Apple in need of some new retail muscle for international expansion and potentially new product launches, it may make sense for Tim Cook to recruit him back to the mothership right now.

Ron Johnson has long been regarded as a critical player in the smash sucess of Apple's iPhone and iPad products, both of which took off after he created a clean and highly interactive retail experience for customers to sample Apple's latest gadgets. 

With the rumor mill spilling over about Apple's newest potential product launches, a new version of the Apple TV (iTV?) and the iWatch, not to mention a crucial big expansion into China, Apple may need Ron Johnson more than ever.

Austin Smith owns shares of Apple. Eric Bleeker, CFA, has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.