Morning Coffee Feb 01 2012

Apple's New 'Smartest Guy in the Room'

By damian ghigliotty

The era of the insider at Apple may be over.

The iPad and iPhone maker that made shopping for electronics exciting again named a Brit from a struggling European retail chain to replace Ron Johnson as head of its retail stores. John Browett, 48, chief executive of the European electronics store Dixons Retail PLC, joins Apple in April.

The move is unusual for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, which under the late Steve Jobs promoted trusted insiders to run major operations. Browett is known as a very strategic and bright retail executive, but can appear intellectually arrogant, people who know him said. His biggest weakness is his interpersonal skills, one executive recruiter told FINS. That was something Johnson excelled at the way Jobs excelled at designing and marketing top-selling products.

"It's a great move for John," said the recruiter. "He was probably the smartest guy in the room at Dixons. But there are a lot of smart people at Apple. He's got to go in there and connect with the culture and the people."

Before joining Dixons, Browett spent nine years at Tesco, one of the U.K.'s biggest retailers and considered among its best run. He was Tesco's director of strategy from 1998 to 2000, then chief executive of Tesco.com from 2000 to 2003, then head of U.K. operations from 2003 to 2007.

Sales Buzz

Rank and File (WSJ)

A number of companies are moving away from employee ranking systems that reward top performers and weed out duds. Some managers remain big proponents of the systems famously championed by Jack Welch.

Andrew Mason Q&A (WSJ)

Groupon's 31-year-old founder and chief executive, Andrew Mason, answers questions about the company's profitability and whether or not he is mature enough to be a successful CEO.

Another Astra Headache (PharmaTimes)

AstraZeneca may be getting ready to cut another 3,000 jobs, according to unnamed analysts. In response to an inquiry from FINS, AstraZeneca said that the company does not comment on speculation.

Interview Tips (Sales Machine)

Sales Machine offers five tips to ensure a successful sales job interview.

Marketing Buzz

Publishing Feud (Media Decoder)

Barnes & Noble will no longer sell books published by Amazon.

Twitter's Ad Focus (Ad Age)

Twitter's chief executive, Dick Costolo, says the company is completely focused on advertising and does not need to find another way to drive revenue.

Seacrest Clear Channel Alliance (NYT)

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, formerly known as Clear Channel Radio, is buying a minority stake in Ryan Seacrest's television and film production company.

Buzz Around the Office

Brand Impressions (YouTube)

A 5-year-old describes an array of brandmarks, from the Apple logo to the Starbucks logo to Bank of America logo.

List of the Day: Increasing Your Visibility

Keep these in mind when doing your networking.

1. Join professional association committees and attend industry conferences.

2. Don't arrange informational interviews using your work email.

3. Create a research project and use it as an excuse to call up the leaders in your industry.

(Source: Glassdoor.com)



Featured Employers
Is your CV / resume as impressive as you are?

A great CV / resume is the key to landing an interview.

Does yours tell a compelling story – highlighting your accomplishments, focusing on your strengths, and reflecting your personal brand? If not, we can help.

Learn more about FINS CV / Resume Service »
Log in