John Browett: Apple rejected me for fit rather than competency

“Apple’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,” Ben Lovejoy reports for MacRumors.

“Apple has yet to name a successor to Browett, with the company’s retail team currently reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook,” Lovejoy reports. “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. – John Browett

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple retail’s Ron Johnson and John Browett have proved the Peter Principle is alive and well – November 13, 2012
Tim Cook takes full control of Apple: John Browett and Scott Forstall out; Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi get expanded responsibilities – October 29, 2012
After being Browettized, Apple Retail touts numbers – August 20, 2012
Apple newbie John Browett brings Dixons to Apple Retail Stores – August 17, 2012
Dear Tim Cook: Apple’s retail focus should be on delighting customers, not generating cash – August 16, 2012
Apple Retail Store chief Browett: ‘We messed up’ with Dixons-eque staffing gamble; refutes layoffs – August 16, 2012
Apple retail chief Browett to get $56 million golden hello – May 27, 2012
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

Apple Inc.: The most profitable retailer in America – August 15, 2012
Apple’s retail juggernaut is magical and revolutionary in its own right – May 25, 2011
Apple Retail Stores hit 10th anniversary (with video of Steve Jobs’ tour of 1st store) – May 18, 2011
Apple Store: ‘The best damn retail experience in America!’ – December 2, 2010
Apple’s retail stores generate huge sales – December 27, 2007
Piper Jaffray finds ‘gravitational pull’ at Apple Retail Stores – November 26, 2007
Apple thinks different with cash register-less retail stores that bring in billions – November 23, 2007
Apple makes retail seem ridiculously easy – May 29, 2007
How Apple’s Steve Jobs is revolutionizing Manhattan retail – May 08, 2007
Fortune: Apple Inc. is America’s best retailer – March 08, 2007
How Apple Retail Stores beat Best Buy, Neiman Marcus, and Tiffany – December 19, 2006

38 Comments

      1. It’s a shame really. I was at King of Prussia mall last weekend. Compared to the Macy’s, which was dirty, cluttered and cramped, the J.C. Penney’s was clean (very clean actually), well laid out, and everything was kept in immaculate condition. I don’t know why more people don’t shop there.

  1. I’m not as mad at him as I am whoever was responsible for hiring him. Someone had to put the final okey-dokey on him. That asshole needs to be fired. Maybe they were? How could you not know what type of a manager he is? That was a terrible mistake. Just one of many that Apple made in the last 12 months. I think Tim is cracking the whip a little now. I’m happy to see that he is treating Apple employees much better than Steve Jobs ever did. But that has nothing to do with hiring Browett. That was just a total fuck up. Nothing else. At least they did finally realize their mistake and cut their losses before he did irreparable harm.

    1. Here. Here. The Apple Store at the Galleria Mall in Ft. Lauderdale has still not recovered from the era of idiocy that was John Browett’s misguided, and apparently free-reigned and unsupervised, adventure. I hate to go into that store now and that one person could so quickly screw up anything that was so hugely successful, would be unbelievable, if I did not see it with my own eyes. Someone besides Browett should be held accountable both for his hiring and allowing him to enact the policies from which the Apple Stores have yet to recover.

  2. John Browett nearly ran Apple retail into the ground in record time when he was at the helm. Call that a “fit” problem if you will, but it looks pretty damned incompetent to me. Good riddance, in any case.

    1. Exactly. I don’t find people comprehend just how incredibly low the bar is these days in the self-destructive world of biznizz. I’d go so far as to say that if you aren’t ‘bent’ toward corruption, you’re not welcome at quite a few top 100 companies. (Witness what’s being uncovered about JP Morgan Chase today).

      As I often rant, The Spirit of the Age is: Screw Thy Customer. In the case of Browett, that meant royally screwing over the retail employees as well. There’s a competency skill!

      Demoralization as a competency criteria.
      *cynical laugh* 😆

  3. Umm, I don’t mean to be a dick here but how hard is it to run Apple retail?

    I’d much more admire someone who is able to sell commodity shit better than anyone else because it would mean they were truly innovative with their store layout, style, marketing, etc.

    But these are Apple products and they pretty much sell themselves. You can just about imagine being in a meeting when someone “brilliant” says, “I’ve got it. Clean industrial design . . . simple tables with the products sitting on them loaded up with media so people can really see how they work . . . Our sales people won’t be pushy, just kind of answer questions and help people find the right product for what they’ll use it for . . . And how about we have an area with some employees who really know their stuff so people can walk out with answers!”

    All of this was in place before Steve died. It doesn’t need reinventing or tweaking. It really needs to be left alone. When it comes to store design, just design something that evokes some of the same feelings looking at an iMac, MacBook Air or iPhone gives off.

    Hire me. I’ll do it!

    1. It may seem obvious now, but a decade or so ago it was anything but. Many observers predicted a quick and painful end to Apple’s experiment in retail. In fact, quite a lot of genius went into the design and presentation of those first Apple stores.

      1. I agree. But I’m not talking as much about then as now.

        This guy inherited the model, and he still couldn’t figure it out.

        I would argue that most of us who understand the value of Apple products and the aesthetic qualities of the hardware and software would be able to understand that, at least in retail, running Apple is more about a straight rudder than reinventing the wheel.

        Step 1: Build great products. Step 2: Make sure the stores make them the focal point with few distractions.

        Having reread my post, though, I can see how you might have thought I was making light of the initial genius of them. My bad.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.