The Business On... John Browett, Chief executive, Dixon Retail
Friday 26 November 2010
I remember Dixons – didn't they used to sell tellies and stuff?
They still do. Dixons shops all but disappeared a few years back (there are a few left in airports), but the name survives online. And the company owns Currys and PC World, so it still has a sizeable presence on the high street.
So how are they doing?
They're still struggling: yesterday's first-half results showed another loss, though it was down on last year. Still, Dixons shares are off by around 30 per cent this year.
Are the knives out for our friend Mr Browett then?
Not at all. He only joined Dixons – then trading as DSG International – in 2007 and he's only two years into a three-year turnaround plan. People are impressed with the overhaul of store formats, and the company is making strides online. Plus he's dumped that daft DSG name.
Still, the red ink isn't good is it?
True, but there will be a profit over the full year, with Dixons always doing much better in the second half (which includes Christmas).
Will Mr Browett get the credit?
Well, full-year profits have been going up since he joined. And he's seen as a real star of the retail sector. He made his name at Tesco where he ended up as operations director and chief executive of Tesco.com.
Were they sorry to lose him?
The fact Tesco made him work every single day of his six-month notice period rather suggests so.
Did that rankle?
Probably, though Mr Browett didn't make a fuss, which won him brownie points with people – indeed, he's well regarded as a fully paid-up member of the human race. Analysts describe him as "personable".
Still, wouldn't he have liked some gardening leave?
It would have been a chance to spend time with his wife – an American whom he met when she waitressed his table at a cafe in Texas – and their three children. Or he could have indulged his passion for yachting.
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