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Apple's short-lived retail chief says he 'just didn't fit with the business'

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
John Browett, who was in charge of Apple's retail business for just six months before he was fired, admitted this week he wasn't a good fit in that role.

Despite the fact that he was fired, Browett said his time at Apple was "probably the best thing that happened to me," according to The Independent. Since leaving Apple, he has become the CEO of Monsoon Accessorize, a women's fashion chain based in the U.K.

Browett


The main issue at Apple, he said, was that he "just didn't fit with the business." Browett took over after Apple's previous retail head, Ron Johnson, moved on to become CEO of JC Penney.

Browett said his time at Apple made him a "much kinder person." He also said the experience made him realize what he's like to work with, which he believes will make him better at his job in the future.

His short tenure at Apple was marred by a number of reported missteps. Prior to that stint, he was CEO for European technology dealer Dixons.

During his time at Apple, a number of reports from employees found the executive to be more focused on profit margins than offering the hallmark "Apple Store experience" that made the tech giant's retail outlets popular. Browett purportedly drew complaints from Apple Store employees after initiating a hiring freeze in August and scaling back working hours for part-time personnel.
post #2 of 41

"I don't understand how not firing retail employees is a good thing."


Browett said his time at Apple made him a "much kinder person."

 

I buy that. Kindness would have been beaten into him with a stick.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Despite the fact that he was fired, Browett said his time at Apple was "probably the best thing that happened to me,"

Really? At that level of management (read 'pay check'), shouldn't it be up to the incoming candidate select to inform himself a little of the way his new employer does business? His brief stint at Apple taught him how to be a kinder person and that there is another way to do things? Very nice for him, I'm sure, but its like somebody with a faked resumé who just got busted saying it was the best thing that happened to them, except Browett probably got a nice little pay check for the inconvenience.

 

It also reflects badly on Apple. If he was the best candidate should they have settled on him, or kept looking? 

So glad to see him gone.

post #4 of 41

The greatest c_ck up of Tim Cook so far.

post #5 of 41

Apple focuses on its customers and products, not necessarily solely on its bottom line. This is why Browett didn't "fit in" at Apple - all he knows how to do is fire people, cut costs and benefits, and strengthen the bottom line. This is not what Apple retail needs - their bottom line is just fine. How can anyone hire someone who gives no priority to customer service and experience?

post #6 of 41

While we are at it, who thinks Tim Cook's days at Apple are numbered? He hasn't made many good decisions at Apple, at least not ones that are visible, and since he took the reigns, Apple stock has been in a tailspin.

post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

The greatest c_ck up of Tim Cook so far.

 

I think the dividend has been Cook's biggest mistake. It gave Wall Street a taste of Apple's cash and started the current feeding frenzy. There was a reason Jobs ignored those guys.

 

Hiring this guy is #2.

post #8 of 41
Retail chief... Captain Peacock, 'Are you being served?'

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #9 of 41
Good riddance to bad pennies. At least they dumped him. Other places would have just let him stay on for another year or two and destroy the whole thing. Think "What would Ballmer do?"
post #10 of 41
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post
While we are at it, who thinks Tim Cook's days at Apple are numbered? 

 

Not anyone intelligent.


He hasn't made many good decisions at Apple…

 

Come off it.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

While we are at it, who thinks Tim Cook's days at Apple are numbered? He hasn't made many good decisions at Apple, at least not ones that are visible, and since he took the reigns, Apple stock has been in a tailspin.

 

I don't think Tim Cook's days are numbered.  It was a mistake to hire Browett, but Cook corrected that mistake in a reasonable period of time.  He also fired Forstall which probably should have happened sooner.  But we might say Cook was cleaning up after Jobs' mistake in this case.

 

As far as the stock, yes, it's down, but that's the market's fault, not Apple's.  Apple has reasons to want the stock to go back higher, but they're not desperate about it the way some analysts assume they are.  I believe that Apple, including Tim Cook and the board of directors, view the stock as the tail and the company as the dog.  Wall Street and some investors want the tail to wag the dog but I think it's probable that Apple would cut the tail off before it starts making important decision mostly based on Wall Street hysteria.  It's hard for Wall Street (and people like Browett) to comprehend this, but it's fundamental to Apple's DNA.  I don't think Tim Cook spits on Wall Street as Steve Jobs would have, but he definitely doesn't need to bow down to those people.

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

 

I think the dividend has been Cook's biggest mistake. It gave Wall Street a taste of Apple's cash and started the current feeding frenzy. There was a reason Jobs ignored those guys.

 

Hiring this guy is #2.

You don't swim with sharks. Yes, he should ignore Wall Street.

post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

The greatest c_ck up of Tim Cook so far.

Tim got rid of him and fairly quickly.  Keeping him would have been a cluster.

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

While we are at it, who thinks Tim Cook's days at Apple are numbered? He hasn't made many good decisions at Apple, at least not ones that are visible, and since he took the reigns, Apple stock has been in a tailspin.

I don't know.  His decisions have grown the iPad business to the size of Google in about 3 years.

 

BTW: Does anyone like AI's new text editor with the disabled right-click? Paste? Really? Come on, just use a basic editor field.

post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I think the dividend has been Cook's biggest mistake. It gave Wall Street a taste of Apple's cash and started the current feeding frenzy. There was a reason Jobs ignored those guys.

Hiring this guy is #2.

AAPL wants share price in a tailspin for a major buy back...Einhorn was probably paid to create stalling drama AND drive price down further (remember, that "sideshow" began at AAPL = $485).

Wonder who "created" that beauty...sell MAR $490 calls to idiots like me then slap an investor meeting lawsuit stalling any vote on new dividends or split, then in week of March 18 announce something huge!

You watch
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Browett said his time at Apple made him a "much kinder person." 

 

That fits almost perfectly with his new company disgracefully forcing small suppliers to reduce their prices by 4% regardless of whether or not they could afford to:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9890005/Monsoon-accused-of-shameless-squeeze-on-supply-chain.html

 

How much of a shit was he before Apple made him kinder?

post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

While we are at it, who thinks Tim Cook's days at Apple are numbered? He hasn't made many good decisions at Apple, at least not ones that are visible, and since he took the reigns, Apple stock has been in a tailspin.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Not anyone intelligent.

 

I agree. I contend that TC is no SJ and that he can never replace him. But I also contend that he's currently the best possible CEO Apple can have.

Most observers are ignorant of the huge part TC played in the incredible success of AAPL under SJ.

post #18 of 41
"found the executive to be more focused on profit margins than offering the hallmark Apple Store experience"

That's good ol' customer service, to you and me.

The type that many businesses talk about, pretend to give, but don't.

Because they just don't get it. Just like John didn't.

It amazes me to see this problem in this day and age...
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There's nothing your wife/girlfriend/partner wouldn't like more than your 6 Plus...
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post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

 

That fits almost perfectly with his new company disgracefully forcing small suppliers to reduce their prices by 4% regardless of whether or not they could afford to:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9890005/Monsoon-accused-of-shameless-squeeze-on-supply-chain.html

 

How much of a shit was he before Apple made him kinder?

He's all the worst parts of Wallmart, used car salesmen, and conmen combined. Any companies or stockholders who place confidence in him should consider themselves, "marks."

post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

"found the executive to be more focused on profit margins than offering the hallmark Apple Store experience"

That's good ol' customer service, to you and me.

The type that many businesses talk about, pretend to give, but don't.

Because they just don't get it. Just like John didn't.

It amazes me to see this problem in this day and age...

 

To be honest though, it's not like Apple Stores are perfect.  The service I get in my local one (which is only 10 miles from Infinite Loop) is dreadful.  There's actually far too many staff, milling around and paying little attention to customers.  I've experienced this in a couple of Apple stores.

 

That said, the one at Infinite Loop is tremendous.

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

 

I think the dividend has been Cook's biggest mistake. It gave Wall Street a taste of Apple's cash and started the current feeding frenzy. There was a reason Jobs ignored those guys.

 

Interesting point.  I wish I could hop in an alternate universe machine and see how Apple stock would be doing having continued its no-dividend policy.  Maybe it'd be less beat up than it is now?

post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

BTW: Does anyone like AI's new text editor with the disabled right-click? Paste? Really? Come on, just use a basic editor field.

Hate it!

It disables OS X contextual menus which include cut, paste, spellcheck, dictionary, etc. I think I can take care of "pasting" on my own, AI Beetchez!

post #23 of 41
Hey, good on him for not blaming Apple. He's taking the humble approach and for that I respect him. He just wasn't a good fit. Happens all the time.

Re: Tim Cook, he's a great CEO. Give the man space to work, I like what he's done so far. For those of you who think the stock price is solely his responsibility, I suggest you take a few college level courses on markets, economics and business.

Calm down.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

BTW: Does anyone like AI's new text editor with the disabled right-click? Paste? Really? Come on, just use a basic editor field.

Yes that is annoying. If you use v from the quoted text it gives you the gray background style which is usually not what you want. To fix it you have to start editing the source code which is not so difficult for me but most people don't know how to do that. I usually keep a Textmate window open all the time so I can quickly strip any style info out of a text clipping or spell checking when necessary. It is sort of like the feature in inDesign that allows paste without formatting.

 

There are a couple of nice things about the rich text editor. One is that instead of finding an image on the web then saving it to your computer, and finally upload it you can simply drag the image from the web page in another window directly into the editor.

 

Finally there is a way to use the old BBcode editor as your default by changing your settings.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #25 of 41
From Apple to Monsoon is a bit of a step down!

Tim is a new CEO. He's going to make mistakes. I'm sure Steve Jobs did too. Give him time to learn the job.
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Yes that is annoying. If you use v from the quoted text it gives you the gray background style which is usually not what you want. To fix it you have to start editing the source code which is not so difficult for me but most people don't know how to do that. I usually keep a Textmate window open all the time so I can quickly strip any style info out of a text clipping or spell checking when necessary. It is sort of like the feature in inDesign that allows paste without formatting.

 

There are a couple of nice things about the rich text editor. One is that instead of finding an image on the web then saving it to your computer, and finally upload it you can simply drag the image from the web page in another window directly into the editor.

 

Finally there is a way to use the old BBcode editor as your default by changing your settings.

And now the IOS web version has disabled the IOS 'read' feature and instead added a CSS increase text button, making the site slower and more awkward. Nothing worse than sites that mess with OS standard features 1mad.gif

post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

 

That fits almost perfectly with his new company disgracefully forcing small suppliers to reduce their prices by 4% regardless of whether or not they could afford to:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9890005/Monsoon-accused-of-shameless-squeeze-on-supply-chain.html

 

How much of a shit was he before Apple made him kinder?

Love this quote "Monsoon Accessorize has agreed discounts with its trading partners over the years which vary from time to time and help drive growth and sustainability for the business and its suppliers." (Monsoon calls the imposed 4% price reduction 'agreed discounts'). Nice work Browett, you kind man, you.

post #28 of 41
What a moron that Browett, how could apple ever hire him with a micky master retailer on the board ?
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Retail chief... Captain Peacock, 'Are you being served?'

LOL, been a long time since I've seen that show.

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

The greatest c_ck up of Tim Cook so far.

Last time I checked, Apple retail stores were still awesome places to shop and very popular. I'd say Browett had little effect on Apple or its image. I would rate the whole iOS 6 maps launch as a bigger c--- up with Tim's name on it.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

 

I don't think Tim Cook's days are numbered.  It was a mistake to hire Browett, but Cook corrected that mistake in a reasonable period of time.  He also fired Forstall which probably should have happened sooner.  But we might say Cook was cleaning up after Jobs' mistake in this case.

 

As far as the stock, yes, it's down, but that's the market's fault, not Apple's.  Apple has reasons to want the stock to go back higher, but they're not desperate about it the way some analysts assume they are.  I believe that Apple, including Tim Cook and the board of directors, view the stock as the tail and the company as the dog.  Wall Street and some investors want the tail to wag the dog but I think it's probable that Apple would cut the tail off before it starts making important decision mostly based on Wall Street hysteria.  It's hard for Wall Street (and people like Browett) to comprehend this, but it's fundamental to Apple's DNA.  I don't think Tim Cook spits on Wall Street as Steve Jobs would have, but he definitely doesn't need to bow down to those people.

I completely agree. The majority of the noisy activist fund managers, analysts and journalists are a bunch of couch quarterbacks who think they know what would be best for Apple--in the short term, which is all they care about. I'm sure it takes a certain amount of discipline to completely ignore them, but that's what you have to do. Steve had the self-confidence (arrogance?) to assume he always knew better than the others, and this was a big part of what made him great. Being right much of the time also helped, of course. So much of what I read from these people sounds completely idiotic, so that probably makes it easier to realize how few people really "get it."

post #32 of 41
John Browett is a typical seagull manager.
Flies in, makes a load of noise, shits on everything and the f***s off.

These people don't change.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I think the dividend has been Cook's biggest mistake. It gave Wall Street a taste of Apple's cash and started the current feeding frenzy. There was a reason Jobs ignored those guys.

A bit off-topic given the focus of this story, but I couldn't have said it better myself.

 

The dividend initiation was a HUGE mistake (some of us pointed this out before-the-fact).

 

In all fairness, Oppenheimer is likely the one that proposed it, and the Board obviously signed off on it. I think that their jobs, given Apple's size and scope, may have outgrown Peter O. and the Board.

post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJRSV View Post

AAPL wants share price in a tailspin for a major buy back...Einhorn was probably paid to create stalling drama AND drive price down further (remember, that "sideshow" began at AAPL = $485).

I hate to warn you of what is lurking under your bed...... lol.gif

post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Yes that is annoying. If you use v from the quoted text it gives you the gray background style which is usually not what you want. To fix it you have to start editing the source code 

or just Shift Option Command v to paste

post #36 of 41
I've gotta say I'd think most people in the UK that have had an experience of a Dixons Group store (likey anyone) would be amazed this guy ever got a job at Apple. He's the worst fit for Apple ever, I can't imagine Apple didn't research him, what was Tim thinking!
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBookBen View Post

I've gotta say I'd think most people in the UK that have had an experience of a Dixons Group store (likey anyone) would be amazed this guy ever got a job at Apple. He's the worst fit for Apple ever, I can't imagine Apple didn't research him, what was Tim thinking!


I distinctly remember people saying this exact same thing here in the forums BEFORE he was hired.

post #38 of 41
I'd suggest the cap was never to fit. Far too honest for his own good I'd say. A 'marketing nightmare' type executive? Apple employs the silent type.
Edited by aBeliefSystem - 3/16/13 at 12:31pm
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I think the dividend has been Cook's biggest mistake. It gave Wall Street a taste of Apple's cash and started the current feeding frenzy. There was a reason Jobs ignored those guys.

Hiring this guy is #2.

I agree Apple shouldn't be listening to Wallstreet, but divdends from a shareholder perspective are better than a buy back.

Apple should have hired from within, but it probably was trying to win some influence in Europe where Apple is trying to expand its market share. Cook also hired that Papermaster guy when Jobs was on leave, which Jobs later fired after Antennea gate.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Not anyone intelligent.

Come off it.
I don't think his days are numbered, but some of the decisions have been strange.
Hiring this guy was a major one, an interview would have found him out with some probing questions surely, were these questions asked? If so, he lied, if they were not asked then Cook is at fault.
Or maybe Cook wanted to improve the bottom line and used this guy as his patsy.
Either way this is not good as Apple have a huge amount of cash and should be looking after their workers to ensure the customer gets the best experience. Otherwise they are in danger of becoming like any other penny pinching company out there.
Apologising about Maps was a super massive mistake. Irrespective of the software quality and/or data, Cook simply should have said, yes there are issues but we are working hard in correcting them, also tell the public that maps is a difficult thing and even google had problems way back then, and still has some now.
Apple are way too defensive, they need to draw a line, even if it impacts them, but it will put a message out there.
1. Samdung you are copying us, so we are taking all our business away from you
2. Google, you are to be punished by your misdeeds, too many to list, no more of your apps on our iDevices no more default search engine. Google glasses connected with our phones, forget about it. We will start instigating law suits immediately
3. Have a better relationship with Microsoft, as both understand google is running rampant
4, Team up and help HTC, to eat away some of samdung sales and thunder
5. Be more aggressive in media, take up the fight to samdung that constantly belittles Apple

Yes these will hurt Apple in the short term, but at least they will know that Apple is not to be taken lightly.
For hell sakes they have close to $140B, use some of this

Apple cannot go on as they are doing now, unless they have some amazing products in the pipeline, gradually they will suffer. Their market share will erode and so too will their profits, it will take years but it will happen.

UPDATE
Gruber has pointed out that the Apple marketing team appears to up the ante with the new iPhone web page.
Perhaps I am wrong and Apple are becoming more aggressive. If I am, I don't mind at all.
Apple needs to come out firing with six guns ablazing and take no prisoners. Lets hope this is a new start.
Being all wimpy and sitting on the side lines gets you nowhere, be it a company or an individual.
Edited by hfts - 3/17/13 at 1:10am
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