Apple has poached Dixons Retail’s chief executive John Browett who will head to the US to become the vendor’s senior vice president of retail.
Browett is set to leave Dixons on 20 April after a handover period, but will step down from the group board on 20 February.
Sebastian James, currently Group operations director at Dixons, is set to be appointed group chief executive and will join the board next month.
James has worked closely with Browett and was responsible for the development and implementation of the new store formats and propositions across the UK and Ireland.
Katie Bickerstaffe has been appointed to the newly created role of chief executive UK and Ireland, and will also join the board next month. She has worked closely with James in the turnaround of the UK and Ireland business.
John Allan, chairman of Dixons, said in a statement: ““I would like to thank John for the very considerable contribution he has made to the Group through the Renewal & 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. We are fortunate to have in Sebastian and Katie, two extremely strong retailers with tremendous experience who will bring continuity to the progress we are making as a Group.
“I know that Sebastian shares John’s relentless focus on improving the service that we provide for customers even further. I look forward to working with him in taking the Group through the next phase of its journey. Katie, with Sebastian, has transformed our business in the UK into a truly customer focused operation and I welcome her to the board.”
Browett added: “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.”
Commenting on his appointment James said: “I am very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for Dixons Retail. While the economic backdrop in many of our markets remains challenging, our unswerving focus on the customer has put us in a very strong position. We will continue to deliver a market beating combination of value, choice and service for customers as well as continually improving the operational efficiencies in the business.
“We have made great strides in improving the business for customers, but I believe there remain many further improvements we can achieve. I feel very lucky to have such a strong team and am delighted that Katie has agreed to lead our UK & Ireland business. I enormously look forward to leading the Group through the next phase of its development.”
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