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MuppetGate

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2012
651
1,086
People equating a poor shopping experience at a UK retailer with an individual executive's skills, qualifications, or personal characteristics are making a mistake. (This is probably why you're typing comments on internet boards, as opposed to running multibillion dollar tech companies.)

I'll let you into a little secret: Modern high-tech executive recruitment is a highly specialized field. Recruiters and HR execs look for a polished resume, technical training, an impressive record of achievement and growth. They go through lengthy rounds of in-depth interviews with everyone from industrial psychologists to potential corporate peers. And still they hire the wrong person at least half the time.

I've seen hard-charging executives hired from top-notch, world-class firms crash and burn within a few months. And I've seen low-key guys, hired from money-losing laggards, soar once they found themselves in the right environment.

One thing I can tell you: It takes a lot more personal integrity and strength to work in a company that is struggling: Struggling with low profits, poor employee morale, or simply bad PR. You try hiring someone who works for an industry and press darling, and they think everything that comes out of their mouth was handed down by God himself.

So, Tim Cook and the top people at Apple think they've got the right guy. Maybe they are right, and maybe they made a mistake. But trust me, they aren't looking to re-create the Brent Cross Dixon's at the Apple Store near you.

I think people forget that forget that he can only work with what he is given, and in that regard I'm not sure he's done that badly.

Consumer electronics stores operate on ridiculously narrow margins. The staff are poorly paid, the customers are bolshy and they lose thousands (per week!) in thefts. And it must be particularly bad in the UK because Best Buy couldn't hack it.

While he was in charge of the Dixons Group they came up with the popular Star Wars ads, the PC World Black concept (not bad looking stores), spent millions improving the look of the other stores, improved staff morale (I know people who work at PC World, and they're sorry he's going), turned in a reasonable set of figures during a recession, and drove Comet out of business.

So why, given the size of the cash pot he has to play with, do people think he's going to drive the Apple Stores downmarket?
 

Cybbe

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2004
369
221
Apple's leadership team sure won't win any diversity awards. 100% white middle-aged men. The most diverse person is a British knight.
 

MuppetGate

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2012
651
1,086
Apple's leadership team sure won't win any diversity awards. 100% white middle-aged men. The most diverse person is a British knight.

Having a gay man running the whole show isn't diverse enough for you?

I'd rather they hire on merit, personally.
 

Arithon

macrumors newbie
Aug 10, 2011
12
1
Kent, UK
I think people forget that forget that he can only work with what he is given, and in that regard I'm not sure he's done that badly.

No. MacDonalds pay less and their customer service is better.

Consumer electronics stores operate on ridiculously narrow margins. The staff are poorly paid, the customers are bolshy and they lose thousands (per week!) in thefts. And it must be particularly bad in the UK because Best Buy couldn't hack it.
Theft is bad in the UK because BestBuy failed here? How dumb is that comment? BestBuy failed here because their prices were above RRP and their stock was poor and they had few stores, none in the high street. Their "brand" meant nothing here and they barely marketed. I only knew their Thurrock store existed because I'd passed it during construction.

While he was in charge of the Dixons Group they came up with the popular Star Wars ads, the PC World Black concept (not bad looking stores), spent millions improving the look of the other stores, improved staff morale (I know people who work at PC World, and they're sorry he's going), turned in a reasonable set of figures during a recession, and drove Comet out of business.
The ads were great. Shame they have nothing to do with what you get in store.

Comet were responsible for their own downfall. If any credit is due, Amazon, Ebuyer and Dabs had more to do with that that Dixons/PC world.

If they want someone to have all Apple Store staff peddling over-priced and essentially useless product insurance, then they've hired the right man.
 

Zxxv

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2011
3,558
1,104
UK
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

From both Apple's press release announcing the move and an email Tim Cook sent to an Apple customer about Browett's hire, it's clear that Apple is not hiring Browett for his experience at Dixons. Browett's hire has raised some concerns from Apple fans because of poor shopping experiences at the different retailers he was in charge of. Instead, Cook is hiring Browett for his enthusiasm for amazing customer service -- something Apple puts a lot of stock in -- as well as his international expertise.


Your ****ing kidding? Language necessary as no other words fit. DSG staff must be filling out applications for apple by the bucket load.

The only explanation I can think of is this guy is being brought in to change the customer service. If the customer accepts it apples profits go up. If they reject it apple blames this guy and sacks him. Either way they all win. Apple tries to change its generous nature and this guy gets a nice pay check for being the skape goat.
 

robogobo

Suspended
Jun 6, 2005
439
58
Sitting down facing front.
I love when people doubt Apple's strategy looking through a microscope, sitting in an armchair. This is the most successful company in the world. These guys know what they're doing. Sit back and watch.
 

Tombs

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2010
209
0
Sutton, Surrey England
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Lol Dixons, Currys and PC World are over priced and shoddily run.

The stores look stuck in the early 90's and they're all dirty and look like someone just threw everything together with no regard to organising sections.

The customer service is also crap. They know nothing about the products on sale besides what is written in the cards next to it.

I was in a PC World store the other day passing some time and one of their sales team was advising a woman not to buy a mac. His reasons were they're hard to use and they don't have a right click on the mouse!

I disagree, not all items are overpriced, the mac range for example in their stores are pound for pound the same as in an Apple store. Locally 2 of their staff are extremely helpful in Currys and in PC World on Purley Way there's a chap there who know's his "stuff". In Curry's recently they had £200 off a MB which was cheaper than anywhere else in the UK. I do accept though that they have a higher percentage off staff who aren't able to relate to their customers with either knowledge or courtesy. But I have also found that on a couple of occasions in the Kingston Apple store.
 

SirDaav

Guest
Jun 26, 2010
32
0
Locally 2 of their staff are extremely helpful in Currys and in PC World on Purley Way there's a chap there who know's his "stuff". In Curry's recently they had £200 off a MB which was cheaper than anywhere else in the UK. I do accept though that they have a higher percentage off staff who aren't able to relate to their customers with either knowledge or courtesy. But I have also found that on a couple of occasions in the Kingston Apple store.

So doesn't this deflate your argument that this guy is a good hire?

Apple never bargains on price, so cut throat-bargain-bin arguments don't work as Apple is not in that business and will lose all profit margin if they try.

Apple sells beyond average service with Genius Bar etc., and relies on that as a tool to shift product. So saying you found 2 guys out of a large UK organization that know their stuff, seems to prove what most are thinking.

They pay these execs to realize change. This guy changed nothing, at either Tesco or Dixons group. In that regard, he is a total failure.

Since most people in the UK think his prior employers are an insult to the retail industry, then you have to wonder what Cook is thinking. As for bringing in foreign talent, for what Apple pays, they could have brought in pretty good talent from some far more respected outfits than Dixons.

I realize this guy may THINK customer service can be stellar in his head, but again, the proof is in practice. He was unable to effect his visions (IF IT IS A TRUE BELIEF) on either of the companies that employed in, in fact, many customers will just say HE MADE IT WORSE.

Apple does like to think different. However if they want to turn their tony stores into old style K-Mart, they probably hired the right guy.

That will drop their much vaunted share price price though!
 
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Bubba Satori

Suspended
Feb 15, 2008
4,726
3,756
B'ham

Zxxv

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2011
3,558
1,104
UK
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

robogobo said:
I love when people doubt Apple's strategy looking through a microscope, sitting in an armchair. This is the most successful company in the world. These guys know what they're doing. Sit back and watch.

Well we're going on what Tim Cook himself says is his reason for hiring him. It's there in the news in his own words. Then Look at all the uk posters saying wtf That's not what we experience, are you looking at the same stores, same customer experience that this guy is responsible for.

Come on we can't all be making it up. The company's he ran In the uk are a joke amongst all of us.
 

MuppetGate

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2012
651
1,086
No. MacDonalds pay less and their customer service is better.

Yes because selling a burger is EXACTLY like selling a TV set :rolleyes:

Difference Number 1: People who walk into MCDs already know what they want.

Theft is bad in the UK because BestBuy failed here? How dumb is that comment?

My dodgy writing, I'm afraid. I meant that whole consumer electronics retail situation must be bad because Best Buy couldn't hack it.

BestBuy failed here because their prices were above RRP

And so why didn't they drop their prices instead of just heading home?

and their stock was poor and they had few stores, none in the high street. Their "brand" meant nothing here and they barely marketed. I only knew their Thurrock store existed because I'd passed it during construction.

Sounds to me as if they didn't think the situation here was worth pouring money into. They wouldn't have got the returns on advertising, and they couldn't compete on price. Essentially, a TOUGH MARKET.


The ads were great. Shame they have nothing to do with what you get in store.

Gosh, you're right. They don't sell Imperial Shuttles.

Comet were responsible for their own downfall. If any credit is due, Amazon, Ebuyer and Dabs had more to do with that that Dixons/PC world.

Dixons employed a strategy of putting their own shops next to Comet and then selling the same stuff at a lower price. If Dabs, Amazon, Ebuyer etc. had such a huge impact then DSG would have gone the same way. They're more or less the same shop after all.

If they want someone to have all Apple Store staff peddling over-priced and essentially useless product insurance, then they've hired the right man.

Blimey, now that is the dumbest comment I've ever heard.

So what you're saying is that he will employ the EXACT same strategy wherever he works?

He also worked at Tesco. Does this mean Apple Stores will actually start selling real apples, along with veg, dairy produce, cheaping clothing and chilli-infused beetroot?

No, I don't think so.
:rolleyes:
 

Tombs

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2010
209
0
Sutton, Surrey England
So doesn't this deflate your argument that this guy is a good hire?

Apple never bargains on price, so cut throat-bargain-bin arguments don't work as Apple is not in that business and will lose all profit margin if they try.

Apple sells beyond average service with Genius Bar etc., and relies on that as a tool to shift product. So saying you found 2 guys out of a large UK organization that know their stuff, seems to prove what most are thinking.

They pay these execs to realize change. This guy changed nothing, at either Tesco or Dixons group. In that regard, he is a total failure.

Since most people in the UK think his prior employers are an insult to the retail industry, then you have to wonder what Cook is thinking. As for bringing in foreign talent, for what Apple pays, they could have brought in pretty good talent from some far more respected outfits than Dixons.

I realize this guy may THINK customer service can be stellar in his head, but again, the proof is in practice. He was unable to effect his visions (IF IT IS A TRUE BELIEF) on either of the companies that employed in, in fact, many customers will just say HE MADE IT WORSE.

Apple does like to think different. However if they want to turn their tony stores into old style K-Mart, they probably hired the right guy.

That will drop their much vaunted share price price though!

I wasn't arguing about the fact he could be good hire I was defending the fact that not all Curry's/PC world staff are S+_t at their job.
 

TheIntruder

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2008
1,712
1,207
Yep, hit the nail on the head. Somehow, this Macrumors piece about the outsider hired to replace Ron Johnson overlooks the fact Ron Johnson was an outside hired from Target. But hey, don't get facts get in the way of a faulty premise, Macrumors writer Jordan Golson!
...
The only thing this article demonstrates is that senior executives at Apple have been there for a while.

Indeed. The fact that Johnson was an outsider, hired directly to SVP level, seems to escape the notice of the writer, as well as the fact that the new hire was made under the same circumstances.

This bit reads like it was written to fit the writer's premise, not as a critical examination of facts. But this is a rumor blog, and not a site known for its journalistic qualities.

What is out of character is that the chain the new hire came from seems to have a mixed, if not poor reputation.

Johnson's old haunt, Tar-jay, was known to have put a different spin on discount retailing.

Must have been a hell of an interview.
 

jmitch720

macrumors member
Mar 2, 2009
44
5
I just love that Jonathan Ive is the only one not smiling in the staff pictures. He looks pissed that he has to have his photo taken.
 

ddarko

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2007
290
61
I'm assuming they meant promoted to SVP? Jony Ive worked for Jon Rubinsten until he basically told Jobs "it's him or me". When Ruby left in 2006 Ive and Tony Fadell were promoted to SVP. I'm assuming Scott Forstall worked under Avie Tevanian or Bertrand Serlet. He didn't show up as a SVP until mid-2008. Same with Bob Mansfield who didn't show up on Apple's website as a SVP until late 2008. Though I'm not sure of he ever reported to Steve directly. I always assumed he reported to Tim Cook.

If that's what the article writer meant, then he should have written it that way but he didn't.

However, if for argument's sake the writer did mean that Apple prefers to promote to senior positions, then that's pretty typical for an older company. A company that's been around for a while will have senior management that's been around too. Most of Microsoft senior executives have been at Redmond for a while (check the executive bios here http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/a-d.aspx). Same for Intel or IBM or GE. Management at startups or fairly young companies like Google don't hold to the same pattern because they haven't been around long enough to promote from within. Either way, the writer's attempt to portray Apple's hiring practices as unique or unusual doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Like many companies, it prefers to develop in-house talent. When it can't find what it's looking for in-house, it recruits from the outside. That's ordinary not extraordinary.

This bit reads like it was written to fit the writer's premise, not as a critical examination of facts. But this is a rumor blog, and not a site known for its journalistic qualities.

Poor analytical reasoning shouldn't get a pass just because it's a rumor site. Good writing is good writing no matter where it's published. There are many things about Apple that are pretty rare in the corporate world but its hiring isn't one of them.
 
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britboyj

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2009
814
1,086
In essence, it doesn't matter if you work hard, you most likely will not see a promotion in order to keep from paying out more but you will be let go if you don't adapt to Apple's seemingly diehard attitude.

You typically won't be let go, but it's much, much harder to get a promotion.

Go into an Apple Store and ask to talk to a manager. Talk to as many managers as possible and ask them how long they've been with the company, and what they started out as - Most of them will have started out as a manager.

Part of the reason for this is Apple's streamlined leadership. It's very hard to get 'leadership' experience at Apple because there are so few steps up the ladder. Somewhere like Best Buy had employees, who are overseen by Seniors, who are overseen by Supervisors, who are overseen by Managers, who are overseen by Senior Managers who are overseen by a General Manager (then district etc).

I and several other members of the now defunct GYO Manager program (Grow Your Own) was flat out told that in order to become a Manager, it'd be better to leave Apple, manage another retail location, the reapply for a manager position. That's just not right. I decided to go to corporate instead, got VERY lucky, a small raise (another $5k a year) and found it largely to be the same situation, with more monotony.

I worked at every Dallas-area store. I worked with probably 30 different managers over that time and of those, TWO actually were promoted from within.
 

aristotle

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,768
5
Canada
Beat me too it. No ethnicity or gender diversity. And don't tell me they're the only ones who are most qualified.
Getting a job is not just a matter of qualifications but desire for the job and having a proper fit for your personality and those of your potential co-workers. Those people are the most qualified out of those who bothered to apply for the position.
I thought this was the 21st century. Obviously it's still the 20th or maybe even the 19th at Apple.
What does the century have to do with anything here? Haven't you heard of the saying "you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink"?
Valid point. Very few female Apple Retail Store Managers also. Apple needs to improve in this area. :apple:
How does Apple need to improve in that area? Should they kidnap people off the street and force them to apply for those jobs just to fill some sort of quota? Did it ever occur to you that maybe men and women have different interests and motivations and that certain careers require you to have a particular type of personality and set of goals?

Sorry but quotas are ridiculous. You should not expect society to be homogeneous.
 

mrxak

macrumors 68000
I agree with what some have said here, that he's not being hired to make radical changes to the stores. I'm sure he's bringing something to the table or they wouldn't have hired him, but it may take a while to really see his mark. In all likelihood what he brings is international experience, and the stores will mostly remain the same, just expand to more locations in more countries.

As for the whole diversity thing, this isn't unusual at tech companies and it's simply because there aren't many qualified candidates who aren't white males. Anyone who has spent any time in computer science or computer engineering classes knows it's rare to see anyone in them who isn't a white male, no matter how diverse the overall school is. Even if that diversity increases at the educational level, it's going to take decades for those non-white, non-male tech workers to filter up to the top.

I would also argue with regards to sausagefest at Apple, that there's probably not that many women out there with the alpha male kill-or-be-killed attitude that seems to be required at Apple just to survive. Papermaster was fine at a tech company like IBM, but didn't have the same cutthroat attitude to make a difference at Apple. I'm not saying those women don't exist; there are certainly formidable, lethal instinct women out there. How many of them are going into tech fields instead of more general businesses areas though?

As stupid and sad as it is, the reality is computers just aren't that cool for females to be interested in. There are other fields where women are similarly discouraged against or just not interested in getting into. It's a result of a larger societal problem, and it is not Apple's responsibility to change with diversity quotas. It would be nice if more women were in certain fields men dominate and more men were in certain fields women dominate, and people of all races and creeds across the board. It would bring new sensibilities and perspectives to all aspects of society. But you can't insist a business hire less qualified people for their positions out of such a noble ideal. Do you really think Apple would turn away a woman or non-white that was more qualified for a position they were hiring for? If you think those people exist, go out and find them yourself, and let Apple know who they are. Apple is a business, and if somebody is out there who can make them more profit, they'd love to know about it.
 

zebrab

macrumors newbie
May 31, 2011
13
0
Hamburg, Germany
Love it...

how you use the Hamburg store image for this! A really pretty sight well placed into the existing environment. One fine example how apple can accommodate instead of throwing things all over as in other places... In my opinion one thing apple will have to do more often in the future if it wants to succeed on an even broader scale with customersö
And remarkably usable for an article talking about hiring an outsider for apple's retail operations...
 

Aspasia

macrumors 65816
[/COLOR]
The state of California alone, is and has been full of female CEOs.
Nice try.

Wrong, Bubba. The article cited deals with female tech CEOs and in this field CA lags as well:

See: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/where-are-the-women-executives-in-silicon-valley/

As to your claim about the number of California female CEOs in general:
Women still hold fewer than one in 10 of the highest-paid executive positions and board seats at the top public firms in California — a rate that has improved by just 0.2 percent annually.

http://gsm.ucdavis.edu/digital-publication/2011-uc-davis-study-california-women-business-leaders

Yes, more women need to enter the fields of computer sciences and engineering. So far, the numbers aren't encouraging:
Sanford graduation stats: http://soe.stanford.edu/current_students/images/SOE_Degrees_2010.jpg

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/4/26/computer-science-women-gender/

What is important is this:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
 

TurboMoses

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2012
42
0
I admittedly don't know much about corporations or businesses, being a pretty fresh grad in the workforce, but I always feel like hiring some superstar outside of your company to be such a high position seems questionable. I'm sure there are plenty within the company who are much more intimately acquainted with the inner workings and know how to get things done, and are probably bristling with great ideas.

But I dunno, I'm sure there are times when you DON'T have that person...but still...
 
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