Apple Hires John Browett To Fill Senior Vice President Of Retail Position

Apple has this morning announced that it is hiring John Browett to serve as the company's senior vice president of Retail - a position that he will fill from late April. Browett has been the CEO of European technology retailer Dixons since 2007 and has considerable experience in the field, also holding executive positions at Tesco including CEO of Tesco.com.

“Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.

Browett will become responsible for the retail strategy at Apple and lead the expansion of Apple retail stores around the world. He will be taking over the position that Ron Johnson had held until he left Apple last November to become chief executive of JC Penney.

Apple's full press release and Dixons' full press release are included after the break.

Apple's Press Release

CUPERTINO, California—January 30, 2012—Apple® today announced that John Browett will join the company as senior vice president of Retail, reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Browett comes to Apple from European technology retailer Dixons Retail, where he has been CEO since 2007. Beginning in April, he will be responsible for Apple’s retail strategy and the continued expansion of Apple retail stores around the world.

“Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.”

Prior to joining Dixons Retail, Browett held a series of executive positions at Tesco plc including CEO of Tesco.com. Earlier in his career he advised retail and consumer goods clients at Boston Consulting Group. He holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and an MBA from Wharton Business School.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Dixons Press Release:

Dixons Retail plc, one of Europe’s leading specialist electrical retailing and services companies, announces the following Board changes:

John Browett will be leaving the company to take up the role of Senior Vice President of Retail at Apple, based in California, USA. John will step down from the Group Board on 20 February 2012 and will leave the company on 20 April 2012, following a handover period.

Sebastian James will be appointed Group Chief Executive and will join the Group Board on 20 February 2012. Sebastian joined Dixons Retail in April 2008 and is currently Group Operations Director. He has played a leading role in delivering the Renewal & Transformation of the UK & Ireland business. Sebastian has worked very closely with John and as Transformation Director, was responsible for the development and implementation of the new store formats and propositions across the UK & Ireland business, which have been a cornerstone in improving the shopping trip for customers and of the Currys and PC World turnaround. In addition he was the architect of the improvements to the delivery, repair and services infrastructure as well as of the significant reduction in the costs of these operations. Prior to joining Dixons Retail he held a number of CEO roles for private-equity backed ventures. Early in his career he was Strategy Director at Mothercare plc and worked for Boston Consulting Group.

Katie Bickerstaffe has been appointed to the new role of Chief Executive - UK & Ireland, and will also join the Group Board on 20 February 2012. With Sebastian, Katie has delivered the turnaround of the UK & Ireland business, with particular responsibility for the launch of KNOWHOW, the store portfolio strategy, marketing, customer relationship management and Human Resources functions. More recently she has also been responsible for the e-commerce operations in the UK & Ireland. Prior to joining Dixons Retail in June 2008 she was Managing Director of Kwik Save and Group Retail Director and Group HR Director of Somerfield plc.

The Group continues to trade in line with the trends as reported in its peak trading statement issued on 17 January 2012.

Commenting on the changes John Allan, Chairman said:

“I would like to thank John for the very considerable contribution he has made to the Group through the Renewal & Transformation plan over the last four years. The Group is now in a significantly stronger position and can look to the future with confidence. I wish him well for the exciting opportunity ahead. We are fortunate to have in Sebastian and Katie, two extremely strong retailers with tremendous experience who will bring continuity to the progress we are making as a Group. I know that Sebastian shares John’s relentless focus on improving the service that we provide for customers even further. I look forward to working with him in taking the Group through the next phase of its journey. Katie, with Sebastian, has transformed our business in the UK into a truly customer focused operation and I welcome her to the Board.”

John Browett said:

“Dixons Retail is a great business, and with the support of a very strong management team we have made excellent progress in transforming the Group into the leading customer focused specialist electrical retailer in its markets. The opportunity ahead of me is an exciting one and I leave knowing that the Group has a bright future under strong leadership.”

Sebastian James commented:

“I am very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for Dixons Retail. While the economic backdrop in many of our markets remains challenging, our unswerving focus on the customer has put us in a very strong position. We will continue to deliver a market beating combination of Value, Choice and Service for customers as well as continually improving the operational efficiencies in the business. We have made great strides in improving the business for customers, but I believe there remain many further improvements we can achieve. I feel very lucky to have such a strong team and am delighted that Katie has agreed to lead our UK & Ireland business. I enormously look forward to leading the Group through the next phase of its development.”