Apple continues its Search for a new Retail Chief
After Apple fired retail head John Browett at the end of October, the company never filled his position. According to John Paczkowski of AllThingsD
, Apple may be taking its time to replace Browett because the Cupertino California company can’t afford to make another mistake hiring a senior vice president for this critical position. It’s been pointed out several times in the past that retail stores are a key to Apple’s success. In the fourth quarter alone, the 390 worldwide Apple Stores generated an average of $6,050 per square foot, which is a very significant number considering that Tiffany & Company stores only earn half of that amount.
Paczkowski lists five candidates whose names have been brought up for the position including Angela Ahrendts of Burberry, Victor Luis of Coach, Jeanne Jackson of Nike, John Culver of Starbucks, and Pal Gainer of Global Disney Store. Although all of the aforementioned candidates are well qualified, it is also possible that one of three internal candidates may be a better bet. The three internal candidates appear to be Steve Cano who is currently Apple’s manager of retail stores, Bob Bridger who is the current VP for retail real estate and development, and Jerry McDougal who is the existing VP of retail.
According to several industry resources who spoke with Paczkowski about the issue, Cano seems to be the best internal candidate. Cano originally started as the manager of Apple’s first Soho store, saw the Tokyo Ginza store through its opening, transferred to London to head international retail operations and is currently head of all Apple Stores. Many seem to believe that Cano understands the culture at the stores in a way that Browett did not. JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson who was the person that successfully held the position before Browett said that he thinks “Tim (Cook) will take his time with this. The internal team is very strong and capable of running well until he finds the right person.”
We’ll have to wait and see who ends up being picked and which direction this person will help take Apple going forward.