Apple to Retail Employees: We Messed Up

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has told its retail employees that it made mistakes with its staffing levels, which resulted in news reports that the company was cutting jobs. Apple was trying a new staffing formula that resulted in a few employees seeing their hourly shifts reduced and some locations to be understaffed, the company’s senior vice president of retail, John Browett, is said to have told his team. The problem was fixed after the company went back to the older system.

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Browett asked his leadership teams to tell employees, “We messed up,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Browett stressed that the company was in fact hiring new staff.

Employees had become concerned after schedules were cut to half-shifts once a week, with part-time employees being particularly hard hit. With all the confusion, news reports surfaced that Apple had cut hours and was laying off staff.

Browett took over as chief of Apple’s retail stores in April after Ron Johnson, who helped start the stores, left to join J.C. Penney (NASDAQ:JCP) last November. As one of his first key measures, Browett had increased the pay of retail employees by 25 percent earlier this summer.

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

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