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Analysts praise Apple's exec overhaul, see hints of future sea changes

Gregg Keizer | Nov. 1, 2012
Apple's executive shake-up this week is a sign that design is the 'tip of the spear' for the company, but the reorganization won't disrupt the firm's product delivery and may produce groundbreaking moves, analysts said today.

Almost as an afterthought, Apple also said that Browett, who had started working for Apple only last April, was leaving. Not a surprise, said the experts: Last summer, Browett instituted a staffing-level change in the company's stores that not only was quickly reversed, but triggered a public apology from Apple.

"I was very skeptical when they hired [Browett]," said Milanesi. "I'm from the U.K., and very familiar with Dixons."

Before being hired by Cook, Browett was the CEO of Dixons Retail, Europe's second-largest electronics chain. Dixons has struggled for years, and carries a reputation as a down-scale retailer much less polished than Apple's own chain of brick-and-mortar outlets.

Gottheil cut Cook some slack for hiring, then quickly firing Browett.

"I don't blame anyone for making a bad hire," said Gottheil, whose resume includes 13 years as a product design manager with Lotus, the maker of the once-dominant Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet. "I've made bad hires. But I blame people for keeping a bad hire."



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