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Tim Cook on New Retail Chief John Browett: 'The Best by Far'

MacRumors reader Tony Hart notes on his blog that after emailing Apple CEO Tim Cook with his thoughts on the company's selection of Dixons CEO John Browett as the next head of retail, he received a personal response in which Cook noted that Browett was "the best by far" among the candidates he talked with about the position.
Tony,

I talked to many people and John was the best by far. I think you will be as pleased as I am. His role isn't to bring Dixons to Apple, [it's] to bring Apple to an even higher level of customer service and satisfaction.

Tim
The selection of Browett has raised some concerns among those familiar with Dixons, which operates stores under a number of names including Currys and PC World, as the retailer does not have particularly good reputation in the UK. Browett has, however, been considered by some to be a rising star in retail after serving time leading operations at supermarket chain Tesco and then taking the reins at Dixons in 2007. Apple had also been expected to look internationally for its next retail chief as the company focuses its expansion plans on locations outside of the United States.


While Steve Jobs was known for occasionally responding to customer emails, usually with tersely-worded replies, Cook seems to have carried on that tradition even as he has moved to put his own stamp on Apple. A number of Cook's emails to the Apple team have made their way out of the company's offices, and he has on occasion, as in this case, replied to customer emails as well.

Top Rated Comments

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34 months ago

Did he only interview one person?


The other candidates were probably the CEOs of Poundland and Lidl.
Rating: 19 Votes
34 months ago

I talked to many people and John was the best by far.


Did he only interview one person?
Rating: 10 Votes
34 months ago
I am myself a UK consumer and also former employee of DSG (this doesn't mean I like them, as I dont). I completely agree with your statement regarding DSGs reputation for poor customer service - I witnessed some pretty bad stuff whilst I worked there - but this is not a reflection on John. I was working at DSG when John joined the company and then continued to work there for a number of years after so got the chance to witness some of the changes he implemented. John was a cut-throat CEO, he sacked/demoted numerous store managers after store visits that he didn't deem to be up to scratch, he closed and restructured departments to make them more efficient - he also implemented a company wide redevelopment of all the stores which if you have ever visited a new store you have to agree they are a great improvement.

The problem with DSG is that poor customer service has been at the heart of the company for years (well before John joined the company). John implemented so many changes to try and change this and on so many levels he has succeeded. DSG has come out of the financial downturn in a far better position than any of its competitors. Apple on the other hand have never had a problem with poor customers services, mainly due to the nature in which Steve Jobs developed the Apple Retail Store model - so it does have a problem to solve.

DSG biggest issue is the people it employees - which are normally a bunch of uninspired, unmotivated morons. Pretty much the complete opposite to the kind of people employed in Apple Retail Stores.

I find it really strange that so many UK consumers have been quick to make unfounded comments and statements about John's appointment at Apple and some how automatically attribute DSGs bad reputation to John - when truthfully John should be attributed with initiating a process of redeveloping the entire company to try and get rid of this reputation.

I just thought I would share my views as they seem to be vastly different to everyone else's. John Browett was a fantastic CEO at DSG and I think he will continue to be fantastic at Apple.
Rating: 7 Votes
34 months ago
Wow, bunch of super smart, super successful people here! You all OBVIOUSLY know better than Tim Cook! You guys should really email him and let him know he's making a mistake and give him some more advice why you're at it! /sarcasm

Seriously people, YOU think you know better. That's just great. One person is never responsible for a shopping experience. I've said it once, I'll say it again. How do you know that Browett didn't have his hands tied by bureaucracy? Oh that's right... you DONT. If you people think you know so much, why aren't you running a head hunter agency? I love how people give their 2 cents and think they know better because sometimes people are "in the industry". Please, lets face it. EVERYONE here, including myself, is child's play compared to the level these people play and we feel we "know better".
Rating: 6 Votes
34 months ago

Did he only interview one person?


Quote from Tim Cook -"[it's] to bring Apple to an even higher level of customer service and satisfaction."

It's never going to happen if the level of service he's been used to is Dixon's, Curry's and Tesco. He would have no idea of what good service or customer satisfaction would be. If he was the best by far, then I would keep looking. Very poor, Tim. :(
Rating: 5 Votes
34 months ago
Just a note on this guy

1. He was the executive officer of Tesco online services for 7 years! So he knows a lot about technology, enterprise, cloud computing...

2. Dixons came out of the financial crisis pretty well. I think his strategy to combine PC World and Currys (one computer the other home appliance) was a very good one! People could do most of their shopping in one go and perhaps spend a bit more.

3. Listen to his interviews online, he is not stupid in fact he is competent!

This is not to say that Dixons et al are good in any way, they use 16 year olds on minimum wage to give computer advice! But they still exist...

p.s. Corrected the link between Currys, Comet and Dixons!
Rating: 4 Votes
34 months ago

I am myself a UK consumer and also former employee of DSG (this doesn't mean I like them, as I dont). I completely agree with your statement regarding DSGs reputation for poor customer service - I witnessed some pretty bad stuff whilst I worked there - but this is not a reflection on John. I was working at DSG when John joined the company and then continued to work there for a number of years after so got the chance to witness some of the changes he implemented. John was a cut-throat CEO, he sacked/demoted numerous store managers after store visits that he didn't deem to be up to scratch, he closed and restructured departments to make them more efficient - he also implemented a company wide redevelopment of all the stores which if you have ever visited a new store you have to agree they are a great improvement.

The problem with DSG is that poor customer service has been at the heart of the company for years (well before John joined the company). John implemented so many changes to try and change this and on so many levels he has succeeded. DSG has come out of the financial downturn in a far better position than any of its competitors. Apple on the other hand have never had a problem with poor customers services, mainly due to the nature in which Steve Jobs developed the Apple Retail Store model - so it does have a problem to solve.

DSG biggest issue is the people it employees - which are normally a bunch of uninspired, unmotivated morons. Pretty much the complete opposite to the kind of people employed in Apple Retail Stores.

I find it really strange that so many UK consumers have been quick to make unfounded comments and statements about John's appointment at Apple and some how automatically attribute DSGs bad reputation to John - when truthfully John should be attributed with initiating a process of redeveloping the entire company to try and get rid of this reputation.

I just thought I would share my views as they seem to be vastly different to everyone else's. John Browett was a fantastic CEO at DSG and I think he will continue to be fantastic at Apple.


If he was so great why then have the DSG group remained in the bottom of every customer satisfaction since Magic Johns turn at CEO? He changed jack ****. If he had of then maybe the DSG group would have been on a level of say John Lewis. Which just to add would spank the arse of DSG in terms of price bettering, matching and customer satisfaction etc. The point is Dixons havent changed therefore you're gonna have a hard time convincing everyone here that the sun shines outta Johns rear.
Rating: 4 Votes
34 months ago
Fasten your seat belts, the post-Jobs era has begun, and it's gonna be a bumpy ride.
Rating: 4 Votes
34 months ago

The other candidates were probably the CEOs of Poundland and Lidl.


LOL!!!!! Just fell of my chair laughing!!!!!:D

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Quote from Tim Cook -"[it's] to bring Apple to an even higher level of customer service and satisfaction."

It's never going to happen if the level of service he's been used to is Dixon's, Curry's and Tesco. He would have no idea of what good service or customer satisfaction would be. If he was the best by far, then I would keep looking. Very poor, Tim. :(


Exactly he was there 4 years at GSG and never in that time did this apparent greatness of retail do absolutely anything to change the way the shower of crap Dixons operated. You might aswell have put Daffy Duck in charge for all the good it did.. The major point is Dixon remained absolutely dire. Browett accomplished sweet FA apart from probably picking up a nice fat pay cheque!
Rating: 4 Votes
34 months ago

I believe that Apple intend to revamp the retail store side of the business, probably making quite a few changes to the sales experience. Browlett has an undoubted track record here


Oh, there'll be changes all right... and not for the better.
Rating: 4 Votes

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