On Monday, 29 October 2012, Apple announced, via a press release, that John Browett would be leaving Apple and that a search for a new head of Retail was underway. This announcement was made less than a year from Browett taking up the post.
During his tenure at Apple, he instituted many unpopular changes at the retail store level, including cutting staffing levels, the sacking of newly recruited employees, the suspension of both transfers and new hiring and a general attempt to cut down on maintenance, payroll and general expenditure. His changes, though reversed, had a lasting effect on store level morale and were extremely unpopular even at manager level. It has been suggested by many industry figures that this was a major reason for his departure.