Dixons’ Browett moves to Apple

Apple has hired former Dixons group CEO John Browett to head up its retail operations in the US, prompting a restructure at the UK electricals chain.

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Browett will take on the role of senior vice president of retail at Apple, based in California, replacing Ron Johnson who left last year. He will be responsible for Apple’s retail strategy and the expansion of its stores around the world.

The appointment is the first made by Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, since he took over from Steve Jobs. Cook says: “Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met.”

He will be replaced by current group operations director Sebastian James, who takes on the Dixons group CEO role.

Katie Bickerstaffe, former group marketing director who lead the creation and roll out of Dixons’ Knowhow service proposition, will take on the newly created role of UK & Ireland CEO. She will join the group board on 20 February 2012.

Bickerstaffe has previously had responsibility for Dixons’ store portfolio strategy, marketing, customer relationship management, e-commerce and HR.

Browett has lead the transformation strategy at struggling electricals retailer overhauling its stores, customer service proposition and marketing and brand strategy for PC World and Currys, and has seen its performance improve despite the difficult economic environment.

He will step down from the Dixons board on 20 February ahead of leaving the company on 20 April.

Dixons posted a 5% fall in like-for-like sales in the three months to 7 January, but is performing ahead of rivals such as Comet, which has been sold by owner Kesa, and Best Buy, which exited the UK after failing to make progress.

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