Apple Taps Former Tesco Exec as New VP of Retail Operations
Ever since former Apple employee Ron Johnson set off on a new journey to revitalize J.C. Penney in November 2011, Apple has been searching for a new retail vice president. But the search is over: On Jan. 30, 2012, Apple appointed John Browett to head up Apple’s retail division, and it’s likely a very smart move. Here’s why Browett could be perfect for the position …
Quick refresher: According to Apple’s announcement, John Browett formally “held a series of executive positions at Tesco plc, including CEO of Tesco.com.” If you’re unfamiliar with Browett or Tesco, never fear, you’re simply American. Tesco is one of the larger chains of companies across the United Kingdom and Europe, with a focus on both grocery and other general goods merchandise. So how will that kind of retail experience mesh with Apple’s existing svelte computer stores? Apple CEO Tim Cook believes Browett will bring a hearty helping of customer service know-how “like no one else we’ve met.” In April 2012, Browett will assume his role, a priority of which is continuing to grow Apple stores globally.
Here’s something worth thinking about: According to Apple’s record-breaking Q1 2012 financial results, a whopping 58 percent of Apple’s sales were attributed to international consumption. But while Apple has had rousing success with its U.S.-based retail locations and obvious success with existing stores overseas, a more “European” outlook on the retail world would be useful and even beneficial as Apple continues to expand its presence in other countries.
While Apple’s core and core product family likely will remain small, I have a feeling Apple is on the cusp of even more explosive growth, which could change the way people view the company — especially taken with some of the subtler company attitude changes Cook has implemented.