Originally Posted by SwissMac2
"Last year, Apple worked with recruiting agency Egon Zehnder International to find a replacement for Johnson, a decision made by Steve Jobs, who was said to be "extensively involved" in the process"
Not Tim Cook's hire, nor was Forstall. The report clearly points the finger at Steve Jobs influence on this one. Tim Cook is doing a great job getting rid of Browett.
What you're seeing is a classic case of new CEO in a large company:
Phase One - bribe all the important people to stay and get them on side to be loyal to you above all;
Phase Two - get rid of all those who may be a threat/face doesn't fit/argue with you;
Phase Three - blame any mistakes on your predecessor;
Phase Four - reorganise;
Phase Five - retire early and live off your employee millions.
Unless you formed the company and it's "your baby" you can't get more emotionally involved with it than the above...
Sorry, there's absolutely no indication that Cook is blaming anything on Jobs. And people at Apple seem to stick around in spite of the fact that they already have more money than they will need for the rest of their lives.
However, the fact that they are so generous with their senior executives (according to AI, Browett had $60 million in stock options, although most didn't vest yet) is part of the problem. Although they probably feel they need it to attract the best people, once you get it, you must feel that you are infallible. Once that happens, the ego takes over and arrogance sets in. And arrogance has always been a big problem at Apple.
People have been highly critical of Browett (rightly or wrongly) since he was hired. He just never seemed to fit in.
One thing I will say in Browett's favor is that the Apple stores that I've been to have been overstaffed. When you walk into the Grand Central Terminal store, so many staffers walk up to you and ask if you need help, it's downright annoying. You see tons of staffers simply standing around. I don't know if it's like that everywhere, but if it is, they'd be better off with fewer staffers, but paying them better in order to get floor people who actually know something.
Also (and I don't know if this Browett's doing or if it was already committed to), the way the Spring Street (NYC) store was expanded was an absurd waste of money. Apple bought a few feet of additional space adjacent to the rear of the store and closed the store for months (opening a temporary store nearby in its place). They stripped the store down to its core and essentially rebuilt the store. All they really needed to do was close off the back wall, do the renovation work behind the wall, which could have been done with the store open, then take down the wall and clean the edges, perhaps closing for a few days. While they replaced the ceiling and other fixtures, the new store is just a very slightly larger version of the old store and I bet they spent $15 million to get there, not including the cost of opening and closing the temporary store. Big waste of money IMO, since it did almost nothing to improve the customer experience, other than maybe enabling them add a few more parsons tables. (I will give them credit for keeping the open presentation theatre, which I really thought they were going to eliminate in favor of "one-on-one" training.)