Dixons chief John Browett lands plum role at Apple

Sales at electricals chain Dixons may be fizzling, but CEO Browett is still hot property. He has just been appointed senior vice president of retail at Apple.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Browett was parachuted into Dixons from Tesco back in late 2007. He was hailed as a turnaround king, tasked with setting the struggling retailer back on the straight and narrow. But his tenure as CEO has not been all moonlight and roses: his £1m salary was a cause of great controversy only last year as profits at the chain slowly dried up.

But that’s all water under the bridge. He’s now the shiny new guy at Apple HQ. And who can blame him for leaving the frozen wastes of Blighty for sunny Cupertino, California? He replaces Ron Johnson who left Apple last year to become CEO of JC Penney, and reports directly to Tim Cook, Apple’s new chief.

Johnson’s big idea was to introduce the massively popular ‘Genius Bar’ to Apple stores worldwide a few years ago and Browett will be expected to display similar innovation. As Tim Cook explains: ‘Our retail stores are all about customer service. John shares that commitment like no one else we've met. We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.’

Doesn’t sound like Cook's ever actually been in a Dixons, does it?

Speaking of his old stomping ground, Browett glosses over its steady decline, releasing this jolly statement: ‘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.’
He signs off with, ‘The opportunity ahead of me is an exciting one and I leave knowing that the group has a bright future under strong leadership.’

MT hopes, for Dixons’ shareholders, that Browett's replacement Sebastian James (currently group ops director) will prove a worthy successor. But all kudos for Browett's coup. Career moves don't get much better than this...

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