Apple retail chief Browett to get $56 million golden hello

“The former boss of PC World and Currys will reportedly receive a 56 million US dollar (£36 million) golden hello from Apple for taking charge of its retail arm,” The Press Association reports.

“John Browett was awarded the hefty payout after the technology giant poached him from Dixons Retail in February, the Sunday Times said,” The Press Association reports. “The payment, which will be staggered over five years and paid in shares, is likely to fuel the debate over executive pay following a series of shareholder revolts, in which investors have overwhelmingly voted against company’s pay reports.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple shareholders have not “overwhelmingly voted against company’s pay reports.”

The Press Association reports, “Boards have argued that they must offer strong incentives in a bid to recruit the best talent to run their companies… Apple, the world’s largest company by stock market value, has a record of paying senior staff generously. Tim Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs as chief executive last August, is reportedly sitting on deferred stock worth more than 500 million US dollars (£320 million)… Mr Browett took charge of 361 Apple stores worldwide, an operation which took 6.1 billion US dollars (£3.9 billion) in revenues from the sale of iPhones, iPads and Macs in the final quarter of 2011.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple grants 100,000 shares to new retail head John Browett – April 25, 2012
Tim Cook emails UK customer: John Browett’s role isn’t to bring Dixons to Apple Retail – February 1, 2012
Eyebrows raised over Apple’s hiring of Dixons CEO to run Apple Retail Stores – January 31, 2012
Apple hires Dixons CEO John Browett as new retail chief – January 31, 2012

54 Comments

    1. As CEO, as great as Cook is, does anyone truly deserve such money? Did the man save lives? The position he holds what real benefit has come to the world? Again, I am sure we all would love such earnings – but honestly its pure luck – a lot of hard work and passion to get where he is – BUT IS HE REALLY WORTH ALL THAT for his work? Brilliant scientists, incredible engineers, master surgeons, skillful and beautiful hearted giving people have done more YET never see such rewards in this way. Is he worth the money he drains as a pay check? If you worked at Apple the same question would arise every year evaluating your performance – right. Without the Apple team – Cook is only Cook.

      I am sure I will get slaughtered here with my next comment.
      This really is regarding the same point but in different light.

      Samsung & Google – have developed a platform which does rival Apples. Face it. Stolen or not. Truly free or not. Face this fact.
      They together have built the closest Apple iPhone clone possible.
      Cheap – Stolen – whatever – NOW consider the actuality of components. Samsung & Google & Microsoft & Rim – have liquidated the price of these (lets say lower quality) devices to a baseline price of 50 bucks. Keeping or Remaining enough quality to be usable and efficient and very functional – also to challenge Apple head to head.

      NOW consider if Cook is WORTH his price tag?
      Because as many will claim the Samsung is a pile of junk… yet it still sells, where the Windows Phone is not selling so well and the quality is on par – COMPARE the efforts and QUALITY of components put in to the iPHONE and ask yourself – NEXT years model is around the corner… THE VALUE invested in a 599 phone — are the components and blood and sweat to make this expensive phone TRULY worth it?

      I mean really? I love the iPhone and I love Apple products.
      But do you truly believe the components and supply chain and a retina screen and the OS is worth that? All you are doing is fuelling Cooks bank account.

      Apple has set there price point. And yearly made modest improvements yet kept the price a float. Customers remain satisfied and loyal. This can be credited to Cooks leadership. But also it is expected as that was his job. Now he is worth more? So is the company… greed will be Apples fall. It happened before in its History. Jobs witnessed it himself and when he returned the plan that was in place was what made Apple a much better Apple then ever. With all the money now – Apple is appearing a cash cow. Best keep all the talks of pay checks and stock values as secretive as its products.

      —-

      Any device has a life span – unfortunately a time obsolesce, fads and boredom will also effect products.

      When a competitor can rival and challenge your product with quality components, usability, reliability YET sell at a much lower price – by nature, who will eventually have the larger user base; is the one selling more. We have seen all this before. PC vs MAC. Apple needs to press forward and destroy Android which then will damage Samsung greatly. Not doing so is Apples own doom.

      1. My point was that his compensation is only $900,000 a year. If Apple goes bankrupt he loses all the rest as the stock becomes worthless. I completely agree with you regarding the outrageous salaries of so many CEO’s. For a long time I have said that there needs to be a law (yes, a law) that the salary of the highest paid person in a company cannot be more than 100x the lowest paid person.

        1. There’s no reason there should ever be any law restricting pay for anyone. That’s purely marxist type socialism, and has zero place in a free society. I would never want to live in a society where government dictated how much I could make, or alternately took most of my money and spent it for me.

      2. The true colors the greedy, envious, insecure, and angry liberal socialist.

        These people always think that anyone who earns more money than them isn’t deserving of it AND that they never earn as much as they really deserve. No doubt, these people would feel perfectly reasonable to take your money in cash or government services to compensate them for this gross injustice.

      3. @barneyfife
        Got no problem with anyone getting huge compensation for successfully running the world’s largest company.

        It’s when they do a crap job is still get the huge paycheck that ticks me off.

      4. While I understand some of your frustration (although I don’t think I agree with very much of it- sorry) I refuse to hear of any of it against actual working people until we deal with the travesty that is american sports. Talk about not being worth the money they are getting paid. They PLAY GAMES, for the love….!

  1. If Dixons is anything to go by I am dreading what’s in store (pun intended) for us. Browett, I think, may turn out to be one of the bozo’s SJ warned against. I have already had a couple of bad experiences at the stores, but I doubt it was Browetts fault just yet. I think as the stores get bigger and the products get bigger there will be more of the “normal” retail experience rather than the one Apple is famous for and Browetts will borrow from his Dixons experience.

  2. Enough with trying to villianize successful people for making money! Look, I’m not a rich guy. I make about $50,000 a year. But one day I hope to work hard and get lucky enough to make a lot more than that. And if I do, I shouldn’t have to worry about the public revolting against me.

    Apple is the world’s most successful company with the most talented people on the planet. It’s natural that the people responsible for that success will get a decent cut of the pie. As long as they do it with honesty and integrity – Tim Cook declining $75 million in stock dividend payments, for example – then stop complaining.

    There are actual criminals and crooked people who swindle money under the table from honest people and struggling companies, so let’s go after them – not the successful ones who should be praised.

    1. This amounts to a signing bonus. He is in no way responsible for the success you speak of.

      By the way, I’ve never seen anyone criticized for making money. Usually any criticism remotely like that is about unjustified and exhorbitant amounts of money

      1. He will be if he stays long enough to receive all that compensation. It’s not all front loaded. If it was I would agree with you, but it is not, he has to prove himself and earn it.

    2. I do not have any problem with qualified and productive employees making a good salary. But employees getting paid tens or hundreds of millions are getting paid too much. As a shareholder (owner) of Apple, I believe that the Board of Directors is being overly generous with my money. I have a graduate degree in a technical field and I will only make a few million dollars in a lifetime. The disparity is too great – many of the highly paid executives are quite good, but they are not irreplaceable like SJ.
      Get a clue before jumping on the party line of unbridled greed.

      1. It’s all about how much you’re worth. If you’re going to be making a company hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, it’s only fair you get several million or even 10s of millions in compensation. Will you be making a company billions of dollars with your graduate degree?

        Do you think Apple is stupid? Do you think they give people more money then they have? Apple knows how to make and keep money.

        1. In general, there is no clear way of measuring the monetary contributions of corporate executives. The success of the company is based on the contributions of hundreds or thousands of key people throughout an organization. In many instances, these organizations succeed despite mediocre or poor management. In other cases, organizations fail despite great or even inspired management. In most cases, you don’t know how much a person is worth until hindsight gives you something to measure.

          To answer your first question, I have been primarily responsible for the productive expenditure of sums in excess of eight billion dollars. That is more than many business owners or even some CEOs may handle in a lifetime. Does that mean that I deserve a “cut” in proportion to that amount of money? No, I don’t think so. Should I receive somewhat greater compensation than some others for the increased level of responsibility that I have borne and the manner in which I have executed my duties? Yes, I believe that is reasonable.

          Immense corporate resources are being treated like a lottery pool by BoDs. To answer your second question, I do not think that “Apple is stupid.” However, that does not mean that I do not believe that the corporate leadership is incapable of making stupid decisions from time to time, particularly when those decisions coincide with the distribution of huge amounts of wealth.

          To answer your third question: No. Clearly Apple is not giving anyone “…more money than they have.” But hundreds of millions of dollars for a couple of people is not pocket change. That will hire dozens of lifetimes of highly trained and highly competent people.

          It is unclear to me why you are defending these massive expenditures on the part of Apple, but I maintain my position that Apple is compensating a few people far more than they are worth. I strongly suspect that the opposite is also true – that many very skilled and productive workers in the lower strata at Apple are being paid less than they deserve according to your measure of “worth.”

          For $56M you can hire a fine team of people to run Apple’s retail arm. I sincerely doubt that this one person is worth 200 or so top grade employees.

            1. Why post such ill-informed drivel? Where on earth did you get the idea that John Browett was single-handedly responsible for the woes of Dixons Group? They were “fucked up”, as you put it, long before he got there. They didn’t suddenly develop a poor reputation for customer service after he arrived in 2007. If anything he helped to improve things in his short time with them.

            2. Are you some lover of low quality stuff? You must be to be so defensive about it. He arrived in 2007 knowing full well the dire straits the company was in. It wasn’t as if he had no idea it was in a mess. The fact that he accepted a job at a low rent place like that is indicative of his lack of marketable skills, no one except a company in dire straits about to fail would have him as CEO.

              It’s like you’re saying the head of the Taliban improved things a little on the ground but he’s still employable because he made the Taliban more likeable than it is now.

              What a stupid comment by a low life scum such as you.

            3. “Low life scum?” Because I questioned your facts? Wow, you got me there fella, I can’t find a retort for such devastating wit and intellect. You must be very proud.

              No I’m not a lover of low quality stuff, I like the Apple gear they sell in my local Currys (a.k.a Dixons Group). You vacuous half-wit.

            1. I felt compelled to voice my opinion, WaterFalls. I am tired of corporate executives feeding at the trough. I have no problem with relatively large paychecks for executives that successfully perform in positions of great responsibility. But they are *still* employees of the company and the money and stock dilution that goes to feed the few comes at the expense of the many employees at the lower echelons. The main culprit is the separate “executive society” that operates outside of the employment and compensation policies applied to the rest of a company. It operates somewhat like a modern form of nobility in which the blooded feed off of the masses, and the masses have little opportunity to penetrate to the upper echelon. Successful executives can be handsomely rewarded without setting them apart from the rest of the corporate organization.

              One of the problems with our society is unbridled greed combined with fiscal and political imbalance. Money buys power. Power buys money. And politics supplies both money and power.

              So far, I believe that Cook has handled things fairly well. But I don’t want him staying at the helm of Apple just because he has around $500M in stock grants that will vest over 5 and 10 years. I want him staying because he is driven by the same vision of technology that inspired SJ. Should Cook be handsomely rewarded for his leadership, if successful? Sure. But an average of $50M per year on top of his base salary (and possibly more in the future)? That is too much, IMO. As I have stated in the past, AAPL could tank down to 1/10 of its current value and Cook would still net tens of millions on top of his base salary.

              If you want to know whether Cook was overcompensated, then you just need to answer the following two questions:

              1) Would the company fall apart without him as CEO?
              2) Would he have left if he was not given such a large stock grant?

              Sooner or later, Cook will leave Apple. So will Ive and other prime players. The fate of the company will eventually depend on new leadership and new engineering and design talent, and it will fail if its future leaders and visionaries are financially handcuffed to the company rather than staying because they believe in the company and are driven to help it succeed.

              We need to make Cook and people like him feel valued and fairly rewarded for their hard work and commitment. We don’t need to make them into modern royalty.

            2. “If you want to know whether Cook was overcompensated, then you just need to answer the following two questions:

              1) Would the company fall apart without him as CEO?
              2) Would he have left if he was not given such a large stock grant?”

              I reject these two basis for comparison. I fundamentally disagree with you on many respects, anyway. I do respect your views I just vehemently disagree fundamentally with your assertion that people are “overcompensated”.

              You do not ask of every employee “would the company fall apart without John Smith” so it’s not a valid basis of comparison for an executive. Neither do you ask “would John Smith leave if he wasn’t given XXX salary.”

              A much more equitable basis would be:

              1. What is John Smith’s value to the company, ie. how does he improve the overall working of the company, what value does his efforts bring into the company.
              2. Given that value, and the market for the labor that John Smith provides, what is the amount of compensation that John Smith can be given and that the company can afford that both allows John Smith to remain at our company, and that makes him feel valued, and respected and appreciated.

              I would say these are much better means of determining an employees pay, and I would also say that it fits anyone at the company. Anyone in a higher pay range at a company should naturally be expected to hold more of the burden of responsibility.

              As an example, there’s a story about Tim Cook from long before he was CEO:
              “”This is really bad,” Cook told the group. “Someone should be in China driving this.” Thirty minutes into that meeting Cook looked at Sabih Khan, a key operations executive, and abruptly asked, without a trace of emotion, “Why are you still here?”

              Khan, who remains one of Cook’s top lieutenants to this day, immediately stood up, drove to San Francisco International Airport, and, without a change of clothes, booked a flight to China with no return date, according to people familiar with the episode. The story is vintage Cook: demanding and unemotional.”
              http://money.cnn.com/2008/11/09/technology/cook_apple.fortune/index.htm

              Tim Cook is worth far more to Apple than he’s being paid. The company is raking in money, in large part due to Cook’s supply chain genius. There’s a reason that Steve Jobs hand picked Tim Cook to be his successor, and it was Jobs himself that voted in the compensation package.

              I can respect you and still strongly disagree with you Kingmel. I would trust Steve Jobs’ judgement over yours in this matter. Sorry, mate.

            3. You state your case well, twimoon1. Some of your points make sense. Others apply only in an idealistic sense, and are neither practical, nor common operating practice. I respect your views, as well, but you should seriously reconsider your position before vehemently rejecting mine.

              A company seeks to maximize profits. A key aspect of maximizing profits is controlling expenses, including employee compensation. I suspect that very few line employees in this world are compensated according to their “value” to the company. In contrast, I contend that many in the upper echelons are overcompensated because others can and would do the same job for less, and perform as well or even better than the incumbents.

              Please name a few companies that actually make the effort to calculate the value of *individual* employees. They do so for divisions or sections, perhaps. But for personnel, it is done only in the aggregate by type or grade of employee. I get paid the same (or less) than many other employees at my company who do not perform as well. Some other people get paid less than they should in comparison to my performance and level of responsibility. Such is life. In general, most people believe that they are under-compensated, just as most people believe that they are “better than average” drivers.

              Second, salaries are based on supply/demand and other similar factors, with perceived “value” taking a secondary role. If you can get a seasoned electrical engineer for $75K in Boise, but the same person would cost $120K in San Francisco, and both would produce the same value to the company in terms of revenues/profits, then you don’t pay the Boise engineer $120K based on a “like value” calculation.

              I strongly agree with your belief that companies should strive to make their companies feel “…valued, and respected and appreciated.” Such an employee will tend to be far more productive and loyal. Ultimately, that will produce the best value for the company. But employee compensation at the lower and middle strata does not place much emphasis on those “touchy-feely” things aside from the occasional “one-through-five” job satisfaction survey. Employees are generally considered to be interchangeable and expendable, and lower cost employees are often pursued even when it ultimately hurts the company through loss of quality, productivity, and corporate knowledge. I have seen it too many times.

              You paint a nice, idealistic picture. Unfortunately, no company of which I am aware begins its employee compensation strategy by asking, “…what is the amount of compensation that John Smith can be given and that the company can afford that both allows John Smith to remain at our company, and that makes him feel valued, and respected and appreciated?”

              Would Cook have felt “valued, and respected and appreciated” if he had received 1/3 the number of shares? Very possibly, especially if they had raised his base salary to, say, $2M or 3M per year.

              We could debate this for hours to no effect. Feel free to disagree. But reality always wins in the end.

        1. Spare me the histrionics, Tony. I note that you said nothing to refute my position regarding excessive corporate compensation at the upper levels.

          In my judgment, the first line of your post made your general leanings quite evident, even if you don’t belong to any party. However, I apologize for event hinting at the subject of politics. I have had a bellyful of that on this forum, and I should not have included that last sentence in my post.

          All politics aside, you still need to get a friggin’ clue!

    3. nothing wrong with being successful or getting paid Farley but this guy hasn’t don a thing to create or enhance Apples success, pay for performance should be the rule not hey I lucked out and got connected with the rite people so give me buckets of cash. And if I should turn out to be a bozo that drives the company down don’t forget to also give me a tone of cash to leave. Only executive level employees get this type of over the top palm greasing. Wonder why the guy busting his ass making customers happy is pissed when the boss gets a bonuse of 50 times his pay and he looses his pension in order to fund it.

      1. It’s funny how people always think other successful people got there because of luck. Luck usually only gets you in the door. You need talent to stay. Apple is very good at sussing out talent. They saw this guy had some talent and they snapped him up.

        1. Praus, luck plays some role, greater or lesser, in the lives of every successful person. Sometimes that luck is bad. The main difference is that successful people tend to make the most of fortunate opportunities or circumstances that others pass by. Similarly, some very fine people never even get to step through that “door” of which you speak for various reasons.

          I am not saying that John Browett received $56M for being lucky. What I am contending is that Apple could and should have hired a highly competent and hard working individual for much less than $56M. I also contend that Apple could have hired a whole team of highly skilled and competent people for that amount of money. Just because Apple has the money doesn’t mean that the BoD and upper management has to give away massive amounts of wealth. At least let the guy prove himself.

          And I still think that Tim Cook was overcompensated, even if he turns out to be better than SJ. Some of you (or many of you) may disagree. But I am tired of wasting time on this subject in this forum. Let’s just bring it up for a vote at the next shareholder’s meeting where the owners of the company can provide guidance to the people who are managing the company for us.

      2. Once again, you’re proving what I said. Stop generalizing about successful, rich people and insisting that the only way people can make that much money is by taking away someone else’s pension. This is obviously not the case at Apple.

        1. The real thieves are the political hacks who give away your hard earned income to their cronies in exchange for political favors and campaign contributions.

        2. Just because Apple is not gutting the compensation of regular employees to fund this $56M of compensation for one person does not mean that it is the right thing to do. No one is “proving” anything that you said.

  3. Options are designed to keep the best people at the company and are staggered over 5 years. So if the guy doesn’t perform then the situation could change.

    Tim Cook is the best person at managing the organization of this size and know who he needs to help him keep it that way.

  4. We haven’t, that’s correct. But that’s excessive. I’m an AAPL investor for many years. It’s excessive. I’ve used Apple products for over 30 years. It’s excessive. Common sense please.

    1. Personally, I think you also earn more than you are worth. Please send me a check in the amount of 30% of your gross income.

      Whew, I feel better already! You?

      1. Hey asswipe, it’s my opinion. Don’t agree? That’s your problem. But I’m right. It’s excessive. I doubt you even work. But it must make you feel like you’re a part of the Apple team to speak about something Apple? Maybe they’ll send a limo for you at their next board meeting. And I earn my money.

  5. What is sick and stupid is when stockholders get reamed by SCAMMER CEOs and executives. Hello JPMorgan Chase!

    The same goes with government leaders. Right now, just about ALL our US government representatives are crap, no matter what PoliTard party. They are not much more than Corporate Oligarchy puppets that more often screw over, versus represent, their constituents.

    But when a company is BRILLIANTLY run and SUCCESSFUL, the ANALysts can ‘bite me’ with the rabid rumor mongering and FUD hate. It’s nothing more than stock manipulation. 😛

    1. Not everything that goes wrong is a scam. But I agree with you that many times the stock holders get reamed. It’s not confined to only those companies that we hate but to almost all companies. Remember the options back dating at Apple a few years back? It happens because there’s money to be made and people will often push until there’s push back. Stock holders are finally trying to have a vote in pay and compensation but the good old boys club makes it tough. And I’m a guy who believes in free enterprise and earn what you can. But clearly things are out of focus. It’s not that the money will put a company in the red but rather it’s just too much for shareholders to rationalize regardless of performance. I lean pretty far to the right politically and socially but even I have to draw the line somewhere. I’m not a fanboy. I think for myself. I try to approach things rationally. I don’t follow. We’re talking about companies here. They’re not our buddies. But it is our money.

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