Apple to cut several business & events positions at retail stores - report

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Apple will allegedly eliminate several business- and events-based retail positions entirely towards the end of April, in a move that could affect the company's behind-the-scenes dealings and potentially how it sells to enterprise going forward.




The company will no longer have any Business Managers, Business Events Leads, Events Coordinators, or Events Leads at its outlets, a source told MacRumors. Store leaders reportedly began informing impacted workers about the situation earlier this week, though an "all-hands" meeting is only scheduled for Apr. 23. The company has already removed "Business Manager" as an option from its Jobs at Apple webpage.

People affected by the cuts are being given the option of accepting a lower-level job, or two months of severance pay.

Sources within the company, not authorized to speak on Apple's behalf, have confirmed the reorganization in some stores with AppleInsider.

The original source of the report commented that Business Managers currently lead the Business teams at stores, which are generally tasked with bringing in up to 20 percent of an outlet's sales. The managers "have established relationships with various small and medium businesses in their markets," the person added, and do "highly specialized" work that is "often times not easily understood by retail leadership who do not have experience in B2B sales."

It could be that Apple feels it needs less retail staff dedicated to business, and will cope by handling things at the corporate level or directing businesses elsewhere. For large-scale deployments Apple often points organizations to resellers, or partners like IBM.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    vtvitavtvita Posts: 10member
    "...in a move that could affect the company's behind-the-scenes dealings and potentially how it sells to enterprise going forward."

    Going forward, you say! I'm so glad you clarified that. 
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 2 of 25
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    I hope this doesn't end up being one of these situations:

    http://www.theonion.com/article/ceo-unveils-bold-new-plan-undo-damage-last-years-b-55625

  • Reply 3 of 25
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,521member
    sog35 said:
    Good move IMO.

    I'm sorry that people have to lose their job, but the market changed. People go to Apple stores for consumer needs.  If they have business needs they should seek consulting at IBM or other partners.
    Or go to Microsoft.   Same for those Pros whining about the MacPro.Ive and Tim aren't in to you.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,412member
    sog35 said:
    Good move IMO.

    I'm sorry that people have to lose their job, but the market changed. People go to Apple stores for consumer needs.  If they have business needs they should seek consulting at IBM or other partners.
    Wrong. Apple's phones, computers and iPads are used in many corporations, big and small. This is a shortsighted decision.
    edited March 2017 elijahgpte applejony01983tallest skil
  • Reply 5 of 25
    The Apple Solutions Consultant position can handle a lot of the business end of things too.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,412member
    The Apple Solutions Consultant position can handle a lot of the business end of things too.
    But will they still maintain the discounts they typically offer businesses?
  • Reply 7 of 25
    At least those employees are being offered another job at a lower pay position. I can only say it's better than being completely kicked to the curb. Two months of severance pay will at least give ex-employees a chance to look around for a job at another company. Yeah, I realize Apple is a wealthy company and could offer better but the saying goes something like, "You don't get wealthy by giving your money away." Apple chopping employees isn't much good for anyone but I'm sure there are companies who've done a lot worse to employees.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,676member
    sog35 said:
    Good move IMO.

    I'm sorry that people have to lose their job, but the market changed. People go to Apple stores for consumer needs.  If they have business needs they should seek consulting at IBM or other partners.
    Corporations don't use Apple products? Why should Apple stores support for their products to third parties? Customer experience is more important than profit margins.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 9 of 25
    Apple Stores are trending down in user experience. Used to be a destination, but now in my experience the employees aren't as well trained, don't know as much and sometimes rude! On Ahrendt's watch, the stores have declined. Her largest visible initiative, the redesigned store, aren't even appealing. Another decline is the displayed merchandise. Why are the headphones next to the iPhones not even working? they're cool and wireless but aren't operable. The salesperson just shrugged. No good apps are on the Macs anymore, used to be some Adobe and MS apps were installed - not anymore! The screensaver/demo movies on the mac are also confusing. I was wondering what the latest image of the city with emoticons was for, is this an app - gotta ask a salesperson to find out that it was for the new stickers in Messages. The Stores don't seem to be firing on all cylinders anymore - from displays on the wall, demo merchandise to employee training. Plus, there's no more live demos or theaters - all removed for meaningless trees and benches (SF store).
    edited March 2017 B3BADASS1983
  • Reply 10 of 25
    You could always work in Canada at the CIBC. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cibc-outsourcing-jobs-india-1.4045759
    jbishop1039
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Apple Business Teams have been micromanaged by store retail managers for years. Retail managers who see a busy store and someone on the phone doing deals and think......those fuckers are not being team players. You give pushback or "fearless feedback" (fuck, typing that makes me want to vomit) your branded as having "peer relationship issues".

    Sadly this was from experience, after 7 1/2 years being told i wasn't a team player i walked. 

    Apple Retail Store business Teams have the highest staff turnover rates in the entire business as well as the highest stress related absence levels.

    I'm now an independent consultant and am grateful that i walked when i did. 
    repressthisravnorodom
  • Reply 12 of 25
    Why?  Because Apple can't afford these people and needs to reduce costs?

    /x sarcasm

    In my little corner of the enterprise world, our mobile hardware is almost exclusively Apple with several hundred iPhones and iPads deployed.  If we're beneath Apple and they want us to take our business elsewhere, our IT managers certainly will.  A shame if things come to that.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 933member
    Just a reminder that a good customer service is a hard work, so if you can't work under pressure you'd better get out of the kitchen. As customer I am happy with what Apple commitment here. Also, there is nowhere it says that Apple would want people to take their business elsewhere, let's not jump to conclusion. We don't know what the reason behind the decision, heck, we don't even know if this happen in all stores or just a selective few that deem such positions are unnecessary from logistic point of view.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 25
    19831983 Posts: 1,132member
    I live in a country where there are no official 1st party Apple stores, but 'premium' resellers instead that have Apple Store clones. And these guys haven't a clue! I purchased an Apple TV a year ago, and neither the salesperson nor the store manager knew it had an Ethernet port! I brought it up and they said no, it can only connect to the web via WiFi! So I always admired those countries that had 'proper' Apple stores...not so much anymore.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,264member
    sog35 said:
    Good move IMO.

    I'm sorry that people have to lose their job, but the market changed. People go to Apple stores for consumer needs.  If they have business needs they should seek consulting at IBM or other partners.
    Wrong. Apple's phones, computers and iPads are used in many corporations, big and small. This is a shortsighted decision.
    Darn Apple, always making such shortsighted decisions which are so obvious to us anonymous randoms here on the rumors site...What do they know!
  • Reply 16 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,264member
    apophis said:
    Apple Stores are trending down in user experience. Used to be a destination, but now in my experience the employees aren't as well trained, don't know as much and sometimes rude! On Ahrendt's watch, the stores have declined. 
    Yeah haven't seen any of that.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,264member

    Why?  Because Apple can't afford these people and needs to reduce costs?

    /x sarcasm

    In my little corner of the enterprise world, our mobile hardware is almost exclusively Apple with several hundred iPhones and iPads deployed.  If we're beneath Apple and they want us to take our business elsewhere, our IT managers certainly will.  A shame if things come to that.
    Oh jesus, the entitlement. Did Apple say they wouldn't sell to you anymore? Wouldn't support your gear? Or did they just make a decision that their retail stores are best suited for consumers?

    As for your sarcastic comment about money, newsflash -- you don't get to be wealthy and stay wealthy by spending it just because you can. That isn't how it works. But I know it's hard to see that when you're spending Apple's money for them from outside.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    freeperfreeper Posts: 77member
    sog35 said:
    Good move IMO.

    I'm sorry that people have to lose their job, but the market changed. People go to Apple stores for consumer needs.  If they have business needs they should seek consulting at IBM or other partners.
    Corporations don't use Apple products? Why should Apple stores support for their products to third parties? Customer experience is more important than profit margins.
    I think that you are missing his angle. Consider: 1) Apple has been chasing Microsoft and other companies - i.e. IBM and HP in the past, Dell and Lenovo more currently - in the enterprise for decades. Traditionally didn't get much traction because of A) cost, B) lack of enterprise/business software/hardware, and C) difficulty with integrating Apple products into corporate environments (due to B). 2) Apple was FINALLY able to gain some traction in the enterprise thanks to iPhones, iPads, BYOD programs were people could bring their MacBooks to work, and FINALLY the availability of tools allowing Apple devices to connect to Active Directory and other corporate networking tools. (Note that other initiatives, such as the attempts by Apple to create actual enterprise hardware and software such as routers, servers and applications failed and have been quietly abandoned). In other words, Apple's consumer products were what gave Apple a toehold in the enterprise, not their enterprise products. So, they never did come out with the equivalent of the likes of even so much as Microsoft Office, let alone products by Oracle, VMware, Cisco and HP (hardware such as servers, videoconferencing equipment, networking equipment, printers). So Apple tried to use Apple stores as hubs to promote, sell and service products to businesses. In theory it was supposed to be for a wide range of Apple products, but in practice it was iPhones, iPads, Macs and maybe a printer/Apple TV or two. Not a great idea but not a bad one either - especially during peak iPhone/iPad craze which just happened to coincide with the failure of Windows 8 and Windows Mobile - and to be honest it was not as if Apple had a ton of options. For most enterprise tasks Apple simply didn't have the products that companies needed, and for the rest Apple's solutions were no better than the competition so there was no pressing need to buy, say, an Apple server over an HP one. But Apple was unable to translate the iPhone/iPad/Mac consumer momentum into a large scale enterprise presence because they remained primarily a consumer company and not an enterprise one. In contrast with Microsoft, which was always an enterprise company and did not begin to really become a large player in the consumer market until the late 90s, and even then it was primarily because of the marketing and efforts of (cheap) clone PCs like Dell and Hewlett-Packard (most of whom no longer exist by the way) as well as the explosion of the Internet - which is what REALLY made PCs consumer devices for the masses - and not anything that Microsoft ever did. Apple WAS very strong in other areas such as K-12 education (universities not so much especially in STEM) and in audiovisual arts (music, animation, graphic design, desktop publishing) where they retain a huge customer base to this day, but Apple never really did dedicate itself to making products, solutions and services for businesses - especially large businesses with complex and specialized needs - and they still aren't. For instance, even Apple's building out their cloud infrastructure is more geared towards supporting the consumer iCloud product as opposed to competing with AWS, Azure, Rackspace, Salesforce, Dropbox etc. No one at Apple has the expertise, and the only way to gain it would be for them to acquire an enterprise company i.e. to buy Cisco, HP, VMware, Rackspace etc. and integrate their products with Apple's existing products. I guess you can say do what Apple did to launch Apple Music to compete with Spotify: buy Beats, which already had a streaming music product. 3) Because Apple never really did put in the effort required to be a serious enterprise player, and also because Microsoft and the PC makers were able to consolidate/restructure/retrench/adapt to the new era, they are pulling the plug. Apple tried to convince people that iPads could replace PCs ... no one bought it (for good reasons). The failure of Windows 8 did not cause a mass stampede of corporate consumers to the MacBook. Instead, enterprises simply refused to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 because Windows 7 was still in support. What Apple DID DO for those enterprises, however, was provide LEVERAGE. They were able to go back to Microsoft - and the PC makers - and say "fix Windows 8 or our next big hardware buy will be Macs." Result? Ballmer was fired and replaced, and the new regime made sure that Windows 10 would be available before Windows 7 was EOL. Ultimately, Apple gambled with the idea that mobile devices were going to create a new computing paradigm that would make the PC outdated. It didn't happen and it isn't going to. Even all the companies that bought iPads for their employees 4-5 years ago because it was trendy are now buying laptops again ... the vast majority of them Dell and Lenovo laptops. 4) In light of that reality, Apple is pulling the plug on what was really a wishful-thinking initiative anyway, because it was never going to work. They have faced the reality that mobile devices are not going to help them gain ground in the enterprise against Microsoft, and even the market share of Macs in the enterprise isn't going to increase either. They are going back to focusing on consumers, and whoever wants to make Apple products a huge part of their corporate IT strategy is going to have to go it alone or work with a company that has focused on Apple-based hardware for their software solutions ... like IBM. Although it should be mentioned that IBM went all-in on Apple because they had sold their PC division to Lenovo and were outsiders looking in on the cloud/services business. They HOPED that iPads would replace PCs because A) they no longer make money on PCs and B) no one was buying their PC based solutions anyway, so they hoped that people would buy their iPad-based solutions instead (and stop buying PCs). Didn't work and isn't going to. IBM continues to be a shell of its former self that is diminishing year by year, and expect their much-publicized strategic partnership where people were going to use iPad apps to interface with their cloud and big data solutions to be quietly abandoned and never spoken of again. And it is for the best. Apple needs to end their attempts to compete with Microsoft, Dell, Cisco and Lenovo in the enterprise - most of them initiated by Cook even if some of them were introduced when Jobs was still there but make no mistake the huge enterprise push began with Cook as CEO - and fully dedicate themselves to creating the next great consumer product or service. It was SUPPOSED to be the cord-cutting device to end all cord-cutting devices, which Apple worked on for years hoping to repeat with TV what the iPod did for music, but were blocked by the content creators and owners (who in movies and TV have a whole lot more clout than the in-freefall music industry did at the time) plus the rise of streaming networks like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon did them no favors. But with that falling apart, the search for new ideas has to begin in earnest.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    I always thought it odd that all of my support inquiries involved Apple asking me if the product is for business or personal use. My internal response has always been "What difference does it make? I don't edit differently for business than I do for personal projects." Maybe the question wasn't really related to the support event specifically, but just gathering more demographic data for decisions like this.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Not a surprise.

    The displays at large Apple Stores now barely work. I tested one at Christmas in a large store. 5400 rpm Mac Mini attempting to run 10.12. Lag on opening the menu. Hilarious how bad it was.

    Apple doesn't care / isn't interested in anything that isn't iPhone iPhone iPhone, iPad with a watch smattering. 

    Too difficult to sell to businesses and organise things. Much rather sell adapters and cases for iPhones

    The ACN is so laughably broken in the UK, the Mac is the same. Come on Apple do us ALL a favour. Cancel the Mac except light weight laptops. Stop pulling our leg with the rest of it all and bin Pages, Number and Keynote as well please. Business teams in the bin, chuck the server app as well. Close it all down. For the love of god stop selling the embarrassing Mac Mini and Mac Pro you are dishonouring yourself and customers shipping shit like that with a 5400rpm drive or raising the price £500 on eon's old hardware. 


    edited April 2017
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