Apple today announced that John Browett will join the company in April as senior vice president of Retail, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Browett is Cook’s first executive appointment from outside the company. Browett will be responsible for Apple’s retail strategy and the continued expansion of Apple retail stores around the world, in the position Ron Johnson vacated to become CEO of JC Penney Co.

Browett most recently was CEO of Dixons Retail, which he is credited with rescuing the European technology retailer by improving customer service and introducing other measures. Before that he was with U.K.-based grocery and general merchandise retail giant Tesco plc, including serving as CEO of its operations.

“Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met,” Cook said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.”

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