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Apple poaches Dixons chief, John Browett

Apple’s new vice-president of retail will oversee the continued expansion of the technology group’s stores around the world

The chief executive of Dixons has been poached by Apple to head up its worldwide retail operations.

John Browett, who has been chief executive of the struggling high street electronics firm since 2007, has been appointed Apple’s senior vice president of retail reporting directly to chief executive Tim Cook. In his new job Browett will be charge of Apple’s already phenomenally successful retail strategy and the continued expansion of Apple’s 361 stores around the world.

“Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met,” Cook said. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.”

Browett’s appointment marks the first external senior-executive appointment by Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs as Apple’s chief executive last year. Browett, who starts his new job in April and will be based at Apple’s headquarters in California, replaces Ron Johnson, who left Apple last year to become CEO of JC Penney.

Browett, who has previously held a series of executive positions at Tesco, including chief executive of Tesco.com, said: “Dixons Retail is a great business, and with the support of a very strong management team we have made excellent progress in transforming the group into the leading customer focused specialist electrical retailer in its markets. The opportunity ahead of me is an exciting one and I leave knowing that the group has a bright future under strong leadership.”

Dixons said Browett would be replaced by Sebastian James, who has been with the company since 2008, most recently as group operations director.

Dixons chairman John Allan said: “I would like to thank John for the very considerable contribution he has made to the group through the renewal and transformation plan over the last four years. The Group is now in a significantly stronger position and can look to the future with confidence. I wish him well for the exciting opportunity ahead.”

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