Apple Still Searching for Retail Chief from Outside the Company

The Wall Street Journal reports Apple is still looking for a retail chief replacement and according to sources, they are only considering external options. Apple has outsourced the task of finding a replacement for Jon Browett–fired ten months ago–to recruiters Egon Zehnder International:

Apple’s search for a replacement, handled by recruiters Egon Zehnder International, has gone slowly, people familiar with the matter said, and the company has yet to settle on a finalist after interviewing several external candidates. Among those interviewed but rejected as a poor fit were wireless and telecommunications-industry executives, one such person said. A CEO of a privately held retailer in France spurned Apple’s overtures, believing it would be hard to change Apple’s culture as an outsider, another person said.

Apple responded to the Journal to say the following (not much):

“We’re actively looking for a head of retail,” said an Apple spokeswoman. “We have a strong network of leaders who will continue to do the excellent work they’ve done over the last decade serving our customers.”

The WSJ tries to paint Apple Retail to be in a dire situation and have lost its luster due to the fact store sales had declined for the first time in four years, even though these locations generated a whopping $5,971 per square foot in 2012, up 17% compared to the year prior. Tiffany & Co. pulled in $3,453 while Lululemon had $2,464 per square foot as a comparison.

After the removal of Browett, retail employees say customer service has again returned to the centrepiece of the retail store experience, as opposed to just concentrating on sales.

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