Former Apple retail chief: 'I just didn't fit'

Apple's former retail chief, John Browett, admits in an interview that he didn't quite fit in with the company's business style but that he has no hard feelings.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
John Browett, Apple's former retail chief.
John Browett, Apple's former retail chief. Apple

Apple's former retail chief apparently harbors few hard feelings about his previous employer, and says his brief stint at the company was "probably the best thing" that happened to him.

"Apple is a truly fantastic business. The people are great. They've got great products. It's got a great culture. And I loved working there -- it's a fantastic business," John Browett said during an on-stage interview at the Retail Week Live conference earlier this week.

"The issue there was that I just didn't fit within the way they ran the business," he added. "For me, it was one of those shopping things where you're ejected for fit rather than competency."

Apple originally hired Browett to replace Ron Johnson, who left to become CEO of JC Penney. His brief tenure brought both positive and negative publicity to Apple's retail empire, though much of the focus centered on reports of budget cuts, employee layoffs, and other scale-backs. Browett left the company just six months later, a move Apple tucked away within news of a management shuffle that also saw the departure of former iOS software chief Scott Forstall.

Before Apple, Browett ran U.K.-based electronics retailer Dixons. Since his stint at Apple, Browett has landed at U.K.-based retail chain Monsoon Accessorize, as the company's CEO. Browett now oversees more than 1,000 stores, a fiefdom more than twice the size of Apple's retail empire, which is currently at 400 stores.

Apple remains on the hunt for a new retail chief to replace Browett, though the company has not let on to progress on that effort.

Here's a clip from the interview:

(Via The Independent)