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A Look at Apple's Possible External and Internal Options for Next Retail Chief

With retail chief John Browett having departed Apple just months after his arrival, the company clearly acknowledged that he was not a good fit for the company. Browett's departure was preceded by staffing controversy within the company's retail division amid reports that Browett's focus on profits over customer satisfaction was having a negative impact on both employees and customers.

Apple is of course now once again looking for a leader for its retail division, and AllThingsD takes a look at Apple's options, noting that the stakes are higher than ever with Apple unable to afford another miss with this hire. In looking at possible external candidates, AllThingsD notes that international experience may again play an important role as it did with Browett, given Apple's focus on expanding its retail footprint outside of the United States.
“Apple’s next frontier is to really grow the brand Internationally,” Neil Stern, a senior partner at retail consultancy McMillan Doolittle LLP, told AllThingsD. “So brands like Nike, Coach, Burberry and Starbucks spring to mind as being ‘models,’ perhaps, of where an individual might have that experience.”

We’ve been asking around for weeks about possible external candidates for Apple’s senior VP of retail job, and have heard largely the same thing, and a few names to boot. They are, in no particular order:

- Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts
- Victor Luis, president, International Group, Coach
- Jeanne Jackson, president, Direct to Consumer, Nike
- John Culver, president, Starbucks Coffee China and Asia Pacific
- Paul Gainer, executive vice president, Global Disney Store
As for internal candidates, AllThingsD cites the usual three suspects from Apple's retail division: manager Steve Cano, real estate chief Bob Bridger, and vice president Jerry McDougal. McDougal was cited as a solid option during the last round, and Cano gained notice after it was incorrectly reported that he had been chosen to succeed Ron Johnson following Johnson's departure to lead department store chain JC Penney.

Johnson himself issued a brief statement to AllThingsD, noting that Apple will likely take its time in searching for the best possibly candidate.
“I think Tim will take his time with this,” Johnson told AllThingsD. “The internal team is very strong and capable of running well until he finds the right person.”
But for the time being, Apple's retail team will continuing operating under the guidance of its experienced group of executives and report directly to Tim Cook.

Top Rated Comments

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68 months ago
Hire back ron johnson ?
Rating: 12 Votes
68 months ago
Hire within :apple:
Rating: 8 Votes
68 months ago
Hire someone from John Lewis rather than PC World
Rating: 6 Votes
68 months ago
all Apple needed to do was to send some reps out to a PC World or Curry's to see how bad the service was in their and they'd have understood lol.
Rating: 6 Votes
68 months ago

What I still find very amusing is the fact that every single UK poster in this forum who knew Browett's former company said that he's not the right guy and that he won't last long at Apple.

While the main site is rightfully called MacRumors, this forum should be renamed to MacPredictions. ;)
Rating: 6 Votes
68 months ago

No doubt Apple'll ensure they won't make another Browett style mistake. No one could believe it when Apple hired him... Any Brit who's been in PC World/Currys knows exactly what I mean.

Yeah, but we were told, "Hey, Tim knows his stuff, he knows more than you".

Now, I am well aware Tim Cook knows infinitely more than me when it comes to the tech business.

However, as a UK consumer who's shopped in, and been burned by both Curry's and PC World, this was one topic which we were MORE than equipped to talk about.
Rating: 4 Votes
68 months ago

Hire within :apple:

x2. I don't think hiring an outsider is a good idea, as evidenced by Browett. Apple's retail stores aren't run like any other, therefore having an insider who understands how it works is crucial.
Rating: 3 Votes
68 months ago

Perhaps Apple should look for a new CEO while they're at it. Hiring Browett was one of Cook's greatest mistakes and there was also this other thing about doubling down on security and stuff but lets leave it at that for now... :rolleyes:

Yeah... Apple should replace Tim Cook, because he has done such an awful job. Really? :p

I agree that hiring Browett seemed to be a bad decision, but at least it was a decision that was corrected.
Rating: 3 Votes
68 months ago

Bring Ron back. His vision for JC Penney is a no go. It was a great strategy, but my Aunts, and Grandmother will never get it.

He is over the CEO thing by now. His ideas are a still a perfect fit.

The Chinese like him. :apple:


RonJon left in part because he wanted a new challenge. Going back to Apple wouldn't provide that. So he'd more likely just retire after JCP.

And this article is a joke. No facts, no leaks, no rumors. Just one blog hit whoring by posting a pile of baseless hit whoring garbage from another blog. I can't believe I'm saying this but I'd rather see more lawsuit talk or a run of CES posts like CoM is doing.

Actually, a new challenge yes, but as a CEO. Not a Senior VP or President of ....

He is over the CEO stuff now. When I'm working away for a while, and don't quite get the results, NOTHING is better than coming home.

I think Ron is the same. Especially with Scott the Diaper Boy gone. :apple:
Rating: 3 Votes
68 months ago
Hire me! I will work for a small portion of what they paid the last guy and I'm sure I can do a better job.
Rating: 2 Votes

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