Apple Admits It “Messed Up” With Retail Staffing Cutbacks, Says “Employees Are Our Most Important Asset”

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It was recently reported that Apple’s retail employees around the world have been experiencing staffing cutbacks. Word on the street was that some major internal changes were taking place within Apple Retail, and new hires were getting laid off in stores on multiple continents.

In a very uncharacteristic move, Apple today publicly admitted that it “messed up” with recent changes to its retail staffing, and that things will be going back to the way they were before the layoffs.

Dow Jones reports:

Apple’s retail boss told employees that 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 that the company had been trying a new staffing formula for its retail stores, leading some employees to see their hourly shifts cut 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.

Apple has also issued a public statement:

“Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed,” said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman. “Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve.”

MacRumors reported earlier this week that many Apple stores were seeing significant layoffs. Obviously, this was a big issue of concern for the employees involved. It’s nice to see Apple backtrack and admit that it made a mistake.

This is also the first bit of public controversy involving Apple’s new head of retail, John Browett.

Source: Dow Jones