SVP Stories April 17, 2014

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After becoming a Dame of the British Empire in a ‘low key’ ceremony earlier this month, rumor had it that Apple’s new retail chief Angela Ahrendts would be leaving her CEO position at Burberry this month. Apple has never confirmed as much apart from saying Ahrendts would start in the spring back in its original announcement, but today reports claim Ahrendts might stick around at Burberry a little longer. The Guardian reports that while Ahrendts is free to leave after serving her 6 months notice and helping transition in a new CEO, she could earn as much as an £8m or $13.5m bonus if she stays at Burberry through June: expand full story

SVP Stories November 26, 2013

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Apple’s new senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts won’t be taking up the newly created position officially until Spring 2014, but in the meantime Ahrendts has already started the process of transitioning to a new CEO at Burberry. In a blog post on LinkedIn, Ahrendts talks in length about the following her intuition when deciding to take a new job at Apple, much like she had when first joining Burberry, and also outlines her plans for transitioning to new leadership. If you’ve ever heard Tim Cook talk about moving to Apple, ‘following instincts’ will definitely seem like a theme.

And as I look forward to what will define the next generation, I believe it is imperative that great companies add greater social value – the larger the company, the larger the obligation.

Ahrendts notes that the company has started transitioning to new leadership at Burberry in recent weeks and also describes some of her business philosophies in the process: expand full story

SVP Stories October 1, 2013

Apple Marketing SVP Phil Schiller calls out Samsung’s Note 3 benchmarking ‘shenanigans’

Apple Marketing SVP Phil Schiller has been known to take to Twitter in the past to voice his views on rival platforms, and today the Apple executive is once again taking a jab at Android through his Twitter account. Today, Schiller points us to some more Android “shenanigans” with a link to a story from ArsTechinca about inflated Galaxy Note 3 benchmarks.

Ars reports:

After a good bit of sleuthing, we can confidently say Samsung appears to be artificially boosting the US Note 3’s benchmark scores with a special, high-power CPU mode that kicks in when the device runs a large number of popular benchmarking apps. Samsung did something similar with the international Galaxy S 4’s GPU, but this is the first time we’ve seen the boost on a US device. We also found a way to disable this special CPU mode, so for the first time we can see just how much Samsung’s benchmark optimizations affect benchmark scores.

Earlier this year Schiller took another shot at Android on Twitter by tweeting the words “Be safe out there” with a link to a study showing a much higher number of threats on Android compared to iOS. Schiller isn’t the only Apple executive on Twitter as earlier this month CEO Tim Cook started communicating with customers for the first time through his official account. 

SVP Stories August 21, 2013

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Apple has poached Enrique Atienza from Levi Strauss, a global clothing sales powerhouse, to become a top director for its U.S. Retail market, according to sources with knowledge of the hire. Atienza served as Senior Vice President, Retail Americas and Global Store Operations at Levi’s, according to Levi Strauss spokeswoman Sarah Young. Young also said that Atienza recently left the company, but she would not confirm details regarding the transition or circumstances…
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SVP Stories April 8, 2013

We’re all discussing this here and wondered what the wider Apple community thinks. expand full story

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Former Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson is out at JCPenney after his radical retail redesign failed to ignite sales in the same manner in which Apple Stores had grown accustomed. Ron Johnson left Apple in 2011 for the JCP job after a decade at Apple.  He helped design the original Apple Store concept after being lured away from Target by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. He pioneered concepts like the Genius Bar which was unheard of at the time but still a growing trend in the industry.

We know more than a few folks who would like to see him back at Apple which meanwhile has found him difficult to replace. One such attempt was the hiring and subsequent firing of John Browett, a former Dixon’s UK CEO.

Johnson continued to live in the Bay area during his stint at JCP commuting to Plano Texas via Jet so…

We’ve reached out to JCP and Apple for comment and will update as appropriate. Press release follows: expand full story

SVP Stories January 31, 2012

We reported last night that Apple officially appointed CEO of Dixons John Browett as its senior vice president of Retail following Ron Johnson’s departure in October of last year. Browett is leaving his position at Dixons Retail, which operates various United Kingdom-based retail stores including Currys, Currys.digital, and PC World. Dixons is one of the largest electronics chains in Europe, and PC World, the last on that list,  is one of the largest computer/consumer electronic retailers in the U.K. It also has a reputation of being a big-box consumer electronic store that consumers describe as “the worst of Best Buy and Radio Shack combined.”

While U.K. product-testing and consumer advocacy group Which? consistently ranked both Currys Digital and PC World at the bottom of its research regarding the Top 100 retail chains, a report from Financial Times explained “Apple has mystery shopped and been impressed.” Specifically, the report mentioned “a system of decision trees to match customers with products” that Browett has implemented while at Dixons.

The calculation of Mr Cook may be that if Mr Browett is good at selling people products that bore them, he will do even better selling them i-gadgets that they lust after.

According to reports in November from BBC, Browett recently renovated more than 250 stores, implemented new service, and customer support strategies. However, the company reported first-half losses of just over £25 million (slightly lower than expected, but higher than losses of £6.9 million the year prior). In 2009, Retail Week (via GigaOm) profiled Browett, calling him “affable and intellectual” and describing his “schoolboy enthusiasm” for technology during a trip to PC World. Here is an excerpt: expand full story

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