John Browett Reflects on Lessons From Brief Stint as Apple Retail Chief

john_browett_headshotApple's short-lived head of retail, John Browett, said this week that he had learned "humility" and "become a kinder person" as a result of his six-month stay at Apple.

Browett's appointment had raised eyebrows in his native UK due to his pedigree as the boss of Dixons, a UK consumer electronics chain with a reputation for cost-cutting rather than customer service. Despite CEO Tim Cook describing him as "the best [candidate] by far", Browett departed Apple later that year before finding a new role as CEO of a low-cost UK fashion and accessory retailer.

Apple has yet to name a successor to Browett, with the company's retail team currently reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.

Browett admitted in an interview at the Retail Week Live conference (via The Independent) this week that he "just didn't fit" with Apple's culture.

Apple is a truly fantastic business. The people are great, they've got great products, it's got a great culture and I loved working there, it's a fantastic business. The issue there was that I just didn't fit within the way they run the business. It was one of those things where you're rejected for fit rather than competency.


Browett said that working for Apple had been one of the best things that had happened to him, and that he had learned a lot about how he is and what he's like to work for.

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Top Rated Comments

Lone Deranger Avatar
147 months ago
Browett admitted in an interview at the Retail Week Live conference (via The Independent) this week that he "just didn't fit" with Apple's culture.

A fact that every UK based Mac Rumors reader knew all along and yet somehow Tim Cook managed to miss. :confused:
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Padraig Avatar
147 months ago
I'm still mystified as to how he got the job in the first place.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NutsNGum Avatar
147 months ago
"I've learned how not to treat staff" he said, whilst busily cutting staff on an excel spreadsheet.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hexor Avatar
147 months ago
How are people like this able to so easily get high paying jobs?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mackan Avatar
147 months ago
Rejected for fit rather than competency? Hmm... I start to understand how he managed to get hired in the first place. This man can twist space itself.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macist Avatar
147 months ago
I almost sympathise with him. Why was he given the job?

His skillset is in deskilling, cost cutting, dumbing down, implementing a centralised model and conning customers into overpriced extended warranties. He's a McRetailer. If Apple wanted to dumb down and become another alienating supermarket full of morose slaves he'd be an excellent choice. If not, why the hell employ the guy?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)