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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    "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.

  • Reply 2 of 41
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,608member

    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.

  • Reply 3 of 41
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member


    The greatest c_ck up of Tim Cook so far.

  • Reply 4 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?

  • Reply 5 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.

  • Reply 6 of 41
    pokepoke Posts: 506member

    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.

  • Reply 7 of 41
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Retail chief... Captain Peacock, 'Are you being served?'
  • Reply 8 of 41
    oldmacguyoldmacguy Posts: 151member
    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?"
  • Reply 9 of 41
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 10 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.

  • Reply 11 of 41
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 41
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,123member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 41
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,123member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 41
    tjrsvtjrsv Posts: 35member
    poke wrote: »
    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
  • Reply 15 of 41
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member

    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?

  • Reply 16 of 41
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 41
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    "found the executive to be more focused on profit margins than offering the hallmark [B]Apple Store experience[/B]"

    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...
  • Reply 18 of 41
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member

    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."

  • Reply 19 of 41
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 41
    am8449am8449 Posts: 343member

    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?

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