Apple names Dixons CEO to head retail unit

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Customers visit the Apple Store in New York City's Grand Central Station January 25, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Customers visit the Apple Store in New York City’s Grand Central Station January 25, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:54am EST

(Reuters) – Apple Inc hired John Browett, chief executive of Europe’s second biggest electronics retailer Dixons Retail, to head its retail store business as it expands into new markets like China.

The iPad and the iPhone maker is trying to tap into Browett’s international retail experience to fill in the vacuum left by the departure of Ron Johnson, who led the launch of Apple’s retail stores in 2001.

Browett was earlier the CEO of, a division of World No.3 retailer Tesco Plc.

Beginning in April, Browett will be responsible for Apple’s retail strategy and the continued expansion of Apple retail stores around the world, the most valuable technology company said in a statement.

China, one of the fastest growing markets, has been a particular challenge for Apple. Earlier this month, Apple halted sales of the iPhone 4S in the country. Angry shoppers, who were told that sales of the iPhone would be postponed, pelted stores with eggs.

Dixon Retail’s shares fell as much as 13 percent earlier in the day. The stock were trading down 5 percent at 14.5 pence at 1205 GMT on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.

Apple shares closed at $ 453.01 on Monday on the Nasdaq.

Johnson became the CEO of J.C. Penney Co Inc in June last year.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Juhi Arora in Bangalore; Editing by Ken Li)

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