James Moore: New Apple boss Browett is in the big league now – but he has to watch his step
Outlook: Welcome to the corporate Premier League, John Browett. The Dixons Retail boss has been poached by Apple to run its fast-expanding retail operation and shareholders are anything but happy about his departure. The fact that he has more or less kept the show on the road is seen as no small achievement.
Corporate Britain, however, will be delighted. The fact that Mr Browett is the first chief executive to be poached overseas in donkey's years won't matter much to remuneration committees, which won't hesitate to use it as evidence that the mythical "international market" for top management "talent" does indeed exist.
As for Dixons shoppers, they might raise a wry smile at Apple's stated reasons for hiring Mr Browett. Apparently he shares a commitment to customer service "like no one else we've met". Given a statement like that, it would come as something of a surprise to find that any of Apple's elite had ever been inside some of Currys' London stores.
On the face of it, Apple retail and Dixons are in the same business. In reality they aren't even on the same planet. Consumers can buy Apple's products online just as easily as they can buy a lot of what Dixons sells. It doesn't seem to matter. Apple's stores are full of youthful enthusiastic smiling staff and youthful enthusiastic smiling customers, who seem to spend hours playing around with its gizmos. Plus the occasional shifty-looking older person scratching their heads and wondering what it's all about until they manage to collar one of those staff members, who will swiftly put a few zeroes on their credit-card bills.
Apple stores have almost become leisure destinations. Even the drawstring carrier bags are, well, cool. It is all a far cry from the shops owned by Dixons. Competition from online hasn't made their life easy. But how much has the poor service provided by electronics retailers in general been a factor in Apple's growth. There's an interesting debate to be had there. But perhaps that is being unfair to Mr Browett. After all, before he stepped in, service was even worse. And it's not as though his rivals are much better. America's Best Buy bailed out, while Comet was sold off to an investment firm for a couple of quid and handful of USB cables. Perhaps the outlook for Dixons under new boss Sebastian James will be brighter.
Meanwhile, Mr Browett had better watch his step. Apple's customers have an almost cult-like devotion. They'll queue overnight to buy new products but they might also queue overnight to demand his head if he tries to change the formula.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
350 skinny dippers brave Northumberland seas for record attempt at mass naked swim
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
iJobs Money & Business
Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...
£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...