JOHN BROWETT, the former boss of Dixons, is to receive a $56m (£36m) golden hello from Apple for taking charge of the tech giant’s network of stores around the world.
Browett, who has been at the helm of the struggling British electronics group since 2007, moved to California last month after he was poached by Apple to head up its retail operations in February.
The payment of 100,000 Apple shares will be staggered over five years and contrasts with the £1m pay package he collected last year from the Curry’s and PC World owner.
He will receive the first windfall of 5,000 shares on 20 October, followed by 15,000 shares in 2013 and 20,000 shares for each of the three years after that, according to Securities & Exchange Commission filings.
The size of the package, which excludes his basic salary – still undisclosed – is likely to add to the debate over executive pay, coming soon after several prominent boardrooms suffered embarrassing rebellions over their remuneration packages.
But Browett’s pay also reflects the task ahead of him at Apple, where he will be overseeing one of the most profitable retail businesses in the world and driving its expansion.
Revenues across Apple’s 361 outlets jumped 59 per cent to $6.1bn in the final quarter of 2011. The group plans to launch another 40 stores this financial year.
News of Browett’s payment comes just days after Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive and one of the US’s highest paid executives, waived $75m in dividend payments he is due to receive over the next decade.
PROFILE: JOHN BROWETT
AT first glance the boss of an ailing electronics company may seem to have little to offer one of America’s largest – and most innovative – companies.
When Apple hired John Browett, 48, in February of this year, the choice raised a few eyebrows. Dixons’ stores, with their array of washing machines, laptops and kettles, are the antithesis to Apple’s own minimalist outlets.
But the US behemoth secured itself a man who kept Dixons as the leading player in the market during some of the toughest years for the electronic retail sector.
Famous for rolling up his sleeves and helping in stores on a busy Saturday during sales season, Browett turned around an unprofitable electronics business with a dismal customer service track record and fended off rivals such as Best Buy.
He also nabbed a deal for Dixons to sell Apple’s first iPad several weeks before his British rivals and became the largest seller of Apple products in Britain apart from Apple stores.
Now he has the opportunity to jump to the other side and move from a struggling sector to a booming one. Given that Apple is looking to expand particularly in Europe and China, analysts have said it is not surprising that it chose an executive from outside of the US.
Before joining Dixons, Browett was a senior executive at Britain’s largest retailer Tesco for ten years, in charge of building the supermarket’s online business.
He also brings experience from working as a management consultant for Boston Consulting Group, and an MBA from the Wharton business school in Pennsylvania.