Profiling Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's new head of retail

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 26
    I suspect this predicts a new role for Apple Stores -- away from being mere flashy sales outlets and let them fulfill their original, true function of supporting Apple, its products and its customers.   Suppliers of services rather than products.

    First:   Apple is expanding its sales outlets to include more box stores as well as Amazon.   That relieves the need for Apple Stores to focus on sales.

    Second:  The Apple store serves as an irreplaceable function to support Apple's customers and its products:
    -- Advise customers looking to buy (even if they don't buy that day)
    -- Support customers with specific questions on their existing products
    -- Educate customers on how to use their products
    -- Serve as repair facilities for existing products

    And, every single one of those tasks is done by PEOPLE, not stores (no matter how many fancy tables or curved glass walls it has).  And those people will require abilities and training that go far beyond merely selling a product and taking the cash.

    So, I predict, with a shift away from sales and towards services performed by people, who would be better qualified to lead the effort than the Senior VP or PEOPLE (not HR) who is so well versed in Apple's culture and vision?

    You might be right but I also think there is a lot of projection going on. People are taking their feelings on what they think should happen with Apple stores and projecting them onto this new leader. Here’s all the things I don’t like about Apple stores - that must be why Angela is leaving; here’s all the changes Apple needs to make to their stores - surely that’s what this new VP will be doing. Yet nothing in Cook’s employee memo indicated any major changes to retail. Of course I don’t expect everything to stay exactly the same but I also don’t expect things to go back to 2010 either. ‘Genius Bar’ ain’t coming back folks.
    Yes, projection & self interest is often apparent on these forums.
    But, all the stuff I mentioned are related to business decisions, not projection or self interest.   Specifically:
    -- Apple has already announced a shift toward services
    -- Apple has already announced new sales partners such as Amazon (who have decimated brick & mortar outlets)
    -- Apple has already announced a shift in their stores towards becoming community focused centers
    -- Apple has already announced enhancements to their education efforts

    All of which point directly to what I spoke of:   A shift away from being mostly focused on sales and towards an expansion of services in the Apple stores.  And that, as I mentioned puts a greater emphasis and demand on the employees delivering those services -- thus a Senior VP of People would be best qualified to find and develop those highly qualified people. 

    Added after thought:   To put it a bit more bluntly.   To effectively turn the whole damn store into an expanded version of the genius bar and minimize the role of the sales clerk -- which is no longer needed.
    That may be what you want. I don’t think either of Cook’s memos/letters suggest that.
    Again,  N O P E !
    That is not "projection" as you called it -- and your claim to the contrary certainly does not make it so.   But instead, it's a solid business plan backed up with the direction (as I laid out) of where Apple has already said it is going.  You can ignore those things, but you can't change them.

    But, I see your mistake:   You are only looking at this particular announcement.   I am looking at where Apple has said it is going over the past year or two.   No, Tim's announcement was strictly about the personnel change.   And, typical of Apple, they said nothing about why.

    Frankly, loading Apple stores up with half trained sales clerks to take your money when you can buy the same product more easily and cheaply from Amazon (or any of the third party vendors such as the ones supporting this site) verges on stupidity.  And, say what you will about Apple, they aren't stupid.   Yeh, you'll still be able to go there and buy stuff -- but the focus of the stores is likely to head towards services rather than simple sales.

    Ahrendts served her purpose.  Now it's on to shift focus towards bigger and better things:   Services.
    edited February 7
  • Reply 22 of 26
    I suspect this predicts a new role for Apple Stores -- away from being mere flashy sales outlets and let them fulfill their original, true function of supporting Apple, its products and its customers.   Suppliers of services rather than products.

    First:   Apple is expanding its sales outlets to include more box stores as well as Amazon.   That relieves the need for Apple Stores to focus on sales.

    Second:  The Apple store serves as an irreplaceable function to support Apple's customers and its products:
    -- Advise customers looking to buy (even if they don't buy that day)
    -- Support customers with specific questions on their existing products
    -- Educate customers on how to use their products
    -- Serve as repair facilities for existing products

    And, every single one of those tasks is done by PEOPLE, not stores (no matter how many fancy tables or curved glass walls it has).  And those people will require abilities and training that go far beyond merely selling a product and taking the cash.

    So, I predict, with a shift away from sales and towards services performed by people, who would be better qualified to lead the effort than the Senior VP or PEOPLE (not HR) who is so well versed in Apple's culture and vision?

    You might be right but I also think there is a lot of projection going on. People are taking their feelings on what they think should happen with Apple stores and projecting them onto this new leader. Here’s all the things I don’t like about Apple stores - that must be why Angela is leaving; here’s all the changes Apple needs to make to their stores - surely that’s what this new VP will be doing. Yet nothing in Cook’s employee memo indicated any major changes to retail. Of course I don’t expect everything to stay exactly the same but I also don’t expect things to go back to 2010 either. ‘Genius Bar’ ain’t coming back folks.
    Yes, projection & self interest is often apparent on these forums.
    But, all the stuff I mentioned are related to business decisions, not projection or self interest.   Specifically:
    -- Apple has already announced a shift toward services
    -- Apple has already announced new sales partners such as Amazon (who have decimated brick & mortar outlets)
    -- Apple has already announced a shift in their stores towards becoming community focused centers
    -- Apple has already announced enhancements to their education efforts

    All of which point directly to what I spoke of:   A shift away from being mostly focused on sales and towards an expansion of services in the Apple stores.  And that, as I mentioned puts a greater emphasis and demand on the employees delivering those services -- thus a Senior VP of People would be best qualified to find and develop those highly qualified people. 

    Added after thought:   To put it a bit more bluntly.   To effectively turn the whole damn store into an expanded version of the genius bar and minimize the role of the sales clerk -- which is no longer needed.
    That may be what you want. I don’t think either of Cook’s memos/letters suggest that.
    Again,  N O P E !
    That is not "projection" as you called it -- and your claim to the contrary certainly does not make it so.   But instead, it's a solid business plan backed up with the direction (as I laid out) of where Apple has already said it is going.  You can ignore those things, but you can't change them.

    But, I see your mistake:   You are only looking at this particular announcement.   I am looking at where Apple has said it is going over the past year or two.   No, Tim's announcement was strictly about the personnel change.   And, typical of Apple, they said nothing about why.

    Frankly, loading Apple stores up with half trained sales clerks to take your money when you can buy the same product more easily and cheaply from Amazon (or any of the third party vendors such as the ones supporting this site) verges on stupidity.  And, say what you will about Apple, they aren't stupid.   Yeh, you'll still be able to go there and buy stuff -- but the focus of the stores is likely to head towards services rather than simple sales.

    Ahrendts served her purpose.  Now it's on to shift focus towards bigger and better things:   Services.
    All I see is what you think is a solid business plan and where you claim Apple is going. Do you mind providing some links to where Cook or anyone else at Apple said they were moving the stores from sales to service? As more information comes out it seems pretty clear it was Angela Ahrendts decision to leave. Anyone who suggests she was fired or nudged out so the stores could be taken in a different direction is just spitballing, or as I said earlier, projecting. And I’m not the only one saying this. Rene Ritchie said the same thing. I seem to remember not to long ago when people were complaining that Apple was pushing online sales too much. How terrible it was that there weren’t these long lines outside Apple stores on launch days. Now we’re supposed to believe the problem with Apple stores is they’re too focused on sales instead of service? Please.
  • Reply 23 of 26
    I suspect this predicts a new role for Apple Stores -- away from being mere flashy sales outlets and let them fulfill their original, true function of supporting Apple, its products and its customers.   Suppliers of services rather than products.

    First:   Apple is expanding its sales outlets to include more box stores as well as Amazon.   That relieves the need for Apple Stores to focus on sales.

    Second:  The Apple store serves as an irreplaceable function to support Apple's customers and its products:
    -- Advise customers looking to buy (even if they don't buy that day)
    -- Support customers with specific questions on their existing products
    -- Educate customers on how to use their products
    -- Serve as repair facilities for existing products

    And, every single one of those tasks is done by PEOPLE, not stores (no matter how many fancy tables or curved glass walls it has).  And those people will require abilities and training that go far beyond merely selling a product and taking the cash.

    So, I predict, with a shift away from sales and towards services performed by people, who would be better qualified to lead the effort than the Senior VP or PEOPLE (not HR) who is so well versed in Apple's culture and vision?

    You might be right but I also think there is a lot of projection going on. People are taking their feelings on what they think should happen with Apple stores and projecting them onto this new leader. Here’s all the things I don’t like about Apple stores - that must be why Angela is leaving; here’s all the changes Apple needs to make to their stores - surely that’s what this new VP will be doing. Yet nothing in Cook’s employee memo indicated any major changes to retail. Of course I don’t expect everything to stay exactly the same but I also don’t expect things to go back to 2010 either. ‘Genius Bar’ ain’t coming back folks.
    Yes, projection & self interest is often apparent on these forums.
    But, all the stuff I mentioned are related to business decisions, not projection or self interest.   Specifically:
    -- Apple has already announced a shift toward services
    -- Apple has already announced new sales partners such as Amazon (who have decimated brick & mortar outlets)
    -- Apple has already announced a shift in their stores towards becoming community focused centers
    -- Apple has already announced enhancements to their education efforts

    All of which point directly to what I spoke of:   A shift away from being mostly focused on sales and towards an expansion of services in the Apple stores.  And that, as I mentioned puts a greater emphasis and demand on the employees delivering those services -- thus a Senior VP of People would be best qualified to find and develop those highly qualified people. 

    Added after thought:   To put it a bit more bluntly.   To effectively turn the whole damn store into an expanded version of the genius bar and minimize the role of the sales clerk -- which is no longer needed.
    That may be what you want. I don’t think either of Cook’s memos/letters suggest that.
    Again,  N O P E !
    That is not "projection" as you called it -- and your claim to the contrary certainly does not make it so.   But instead, it's a solid business plan backed up with the direction (as I laid out) of where Apple has already said it is going.  You can ignore those things, but you can't change them.

    But, I see your mistake:   You are only looking at this particular announcement.   I am looking at where Apple has said it is going over the past year or two.   No, Tim's announcement was strictly about the personnel change.   And, typical of Apple, they said nothing about why.

    Frankly, loading Apple stores up with half trained sales clerks to take your money when you can buy the same product more easily and cheaply from Amazon (or any of the third party vendors such as the ones supporting this site) verges on stupidity.  And, say what you will about Apple, they aren't stupid.   Yeh, you'll still be able to go there and buy stuff -- but the focus of the stores is likely to head towards services rather than simple sales.

    Ahrendts served her purpose.  Now it's on to shift focus towards bigger and better things:   Services.
    All I see is what you think is a solid business plan and where you claim Apple is going. Do you mind providing some links to where Cook or anyone else at Apple said they were moving the stores from sales to service? As more information comes out it seems pretty clear it was Angela Ahrendts decision to leave. Anyone who suggests she was fired or nudged out so the stores could be taken in a different direction is just spitballing, or as I said earlier, projecting. And I’m not the only one saying this. Rene Ritchie said the same thing. I seem to remember not to long ago when people were complaining that Apple was pushing online sales too much. How terrible it was that there weren’t these long lines outside Apple stores on launch days. Now we’re supposed to believe the problem with Apple stores is they’re too focused on sales instead of service? Please.
    I already listed the direction where Apple has said and shown they are going to...    And, since Apple stores are part of Apple, I would assume that they won't revolt and go their own direction.

    But, even without all those explicit things I have mentioned, why would Apple bring in Amazon as a sales partner -- and then try to compete with them?   Amazon crushes stupidity like that.   Yes, you can still buy something there if you like.  They will have people there to take your money.   But the emphasis will be on servicing their customer base.  Direct sales will become a secondary concern for the Apple Stores -- a byproduct and offshoot of their services.  And that is how it should be. 

    And, I never said Ahrendts was fired.   That's your strawman. 
    And, "people were complaining that there weren't these long lines outside Apple stores" is another of your strawman arguments - that's people complaining, Not Apple.

    The days of brick and mortar stores sitting there taking your money are fading away.   Today, to survive, they have to offer something above and beyond merely trading product for cash.   And, that is particularly true in Apple's case because it not only goes against the current trend but it goes against their corporate philosophy.   Apple is not a Walmart -- walk in, buy something, walk back out -- but that's where the Apple Stores were headed under Ahrendts.
  • Reply 24 of 26
    Paul DeLeoPaul DeLeo Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Deirdre is my longtime friend’s sister. I’ve been told Steve relied on her to solve difficult problems like overcoming the translucent iMac production facility’s limitation on the number of different colors they could produce and handling the original iPhone partial refunds to early adopters who paid the initial MSRP price that was subsequently lowered. She is very adaptable and has proven her capability to consistently achieve success in every challenge delegated to her. She’s long overdue for this promotion and recognition and had otherwise been planning to retire and enjoy her recently-built custom home on Pebble Beach golf course. 
    GeorgeBMacclaire1
  • Reply 25 of 26
    Deirdre is my longtime friend’s sister. I’ve been told Steve relied on her to solve difficult problems like overcoming the translucent iMac production facility’s limitation on the number of different colors they could produce and handling the original iPhone partial refunds to early adopters who paid the initial MSRP price that was subsequently lowered. She is very adaptable and has proven her capability to consistently achieve success in every challenge delegated to her. She’s long overdue for this promotion and recognition and had otherwise been planning to retire and enjoy her recently-built custom home on Pebble Beach golf course. 
    It sounds like she was too valuable to promote!
    Gigli the Dwarf's advice to Aragorn comes to mind:   "Very handy in a tight spot" comes to mind.
    Paul DeLeo
  • Reply 26 of 26
    claire1claire1 Posts: 503unconfirmed, member
    Deirdre is my longtime friend’s sister. I’ve been told Steve relied on her to solve difficult problems like overcoming the translucent iMac production facility’s limitation on the number of different colors they could produce and handling the original iPhone partial refunds to early adopters who paid the initial MSRP price that was subsequently lowered. She is very adaptable and has proven her capability to consistently achieve success in every challenge delegated to her. She’s long overdue for this promotion and recognition and had otherwise been planning to retire and enjoy her recently-built custom home on Pebble Beach golf course. 
    So maybe she was called to fix Apple Store issues?
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