Ex-Retail Chief Admits: ‘I Just Didn’t Fit’

March 15, 2013

The man who briefly held the reins of Apple’s retail stores last year has admitted that he didn’t fit the company’s culture, but during an interview also said the experience had made him a “kinder” person. John Browett made the brief remarks during an on-stage interview at the Retail Week Live 2013 conference in London this week. He held the position of Sr. VP Retail for six months after Ron Johnson resigned in early 2012 to head JC Penney. When asked about his Apple experience, Browett said Apple was was a “great company” and had a “great culture.” He acknowledged bumping into that iconic culture by carefully describing the conflict: “I just didn’t fit within the way they ran the business. For me it was just one of those shopping things, where you are ejected from the organization for the fit, rather than competency.” Insiders have said Browett emphasized sales and revenue over excellent customer service, frequently putting him at odds with veteran Apple retail executives. Despite his firing, Browett put a positive spin on the experience. “It’s probably actually the best thing that’s ever happened to me, certainly from a business perspective,” he said. “Because what you learn from that is great humility. It certainly makes you a much kinder person.” Browett seemingly acknowledged that he may have been abrasive while at Apple. “I think the other big thing for me was that it actually got me very clear about how I am, and what I actually am like to work with, and that is a really amazing lesson.” Looking ahead, Browett said his Apple time would be a benefit. “It will make me much better at doing my job in the future.” Browett is now CEO of Monsoon Accessorize, a UK-based women’s and children’s clothing firm.

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