The news that Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts is to join Apple as their new head of retailing operations brings into stark relief one of the strangest appointments in recent corporate history. Why on earth did Apple bring Dixon’s Group chief John Browett in to head their consumer selling arm last year?
Browett was Tim Cook’s first major appointment, and his background was in price-focused retailers Dixon’s and Tesco. According to this article in The Telegraph he never fit into the culture of the Cupertino company.
It’s kind of reassuring that such mismatches can happen at such a senior level. Maybe Cook was still in a sense of shock after Steve Jobs’ death. Maybe he didn’t really understand the nature of the retailers for which Browett had previously worked. Maybe Browett is a phenomenal interviewee. Or a combination of all of the above… No doubt the histories of Apple yet to be written will reveal all.