Apple Retail Chief Admits Staffing Mistake

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By Ian Sherr

SAN FRANCISCO—Apple Inc.’s retail boss told employees the company made mistakes with its staffing levels, leading to news reports that the company was cutting employees, according to two people familiar with the matter.

In a communication with store leadership teams, senior vice president of retail, John Browett, who took the reins of Apple’s retail stores in April, said the company had been trying a new staffing formula for its retail stores.

The formula caused hourly shifts to be cut for some employees and retail locations to be understaffed. This happened for a few weeks before the company decided to revert to its older system, hoping to rectify the problem.

He instructed leadership teams to tell employees, “We messed up,” according to two people who were aware of the communication, which also stressed that while shift schedules were affected, no one was laid off. He also wanted employees to know that it was hiring new staff, these people said.

 

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(Published Aug 16, 2012, in The Wall Street Journal.)