Apple Hires Former Dixons, Tesco Executive to Run Retail Operations

Jessica E. Vascellaro:

Apple announced Tuesday that John Browett, who has been chief executive of Dixons Retail PLC since 2007, would join the company as a senior vice president in charge of the technology giant's retail operations and expansion in April.

Browett has frequently been recognized for his successful transformation of Dixons' flagging retail strategy via aesthetic store revamps and a renewed focus upon customer service. Although it's rare for Apple to reach outside of its own ranks for such a position, Browett's past certainly lends credence to his ability in the retail world.

The loss of Ron Johnson in November, and the ensuing focus on his work at J.C. Penney, is a sore loss for Apple. But given Browett's past, it appears Apple may have hired Johnson's English equivalent.

I've never been much of a fan of Dixons/Currys/PC World, but it's easy to observe the wealth of changes instituted across the chain in recent years. Apple's retail strategy will undoubtedly call for a significantly different approach, but the 46 year old certainly has experience on his side.

As long as Apple stores don't end up covered with gaudy plastic signs, filled with multi-colored fleeces, and unpleasant ads running on television and in print, I'll be happy.