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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s new retail chief, John Browett, is currently under the microscope, following a protracted rumor that has shadowed Apple ever since the outset of this week. The rumor suggests that Apple is swinging the axe on a huge number of retail employees.

As noted in a similar story that we covered earlier on, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has sent mixed signals with regard to its stand on the layoffs. From one point of view, the tech big wig seems to advocate for the cuts. In fact, Browett was even noted to have said that the company’s retail stores were ‘too bloated’. On the other hand, Kristine Huguet, the spokesperson, is reported to have pointed out that the changes were a mistake, citing that reversal procedures were in place. Dow Jones also reported an email that was supposedly sent by John Browett, who noted that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was pulling back on the changes.

All the same, it appears as if Apple’s stand with regard to layoffs is now clear. Today, reports have streamed in that the tech heavyweight has pulled the plug on some of its employees in its U.K stores. According to the reports, a section of the retail staff in Essex and Milton Keynes will have to face the axe, following the company’s bigger plans of cutting down on costs and enhancing productivity.

According to a well placed source, workers who are on short-term contracts are not having their contracts renewed. In addition to that, new hires are also not being made. The company is averting the idea of full-time workers and new full-time workers are not being employed. In fact, part timers will replace any permanent workers who leave the job.

While the exact reason for the restructure is not quite clear, fingers are pointed towards the disappointing sales in Europe. The latest sales results reveal that iPhone sales in Europe had taken a huge dip, pulling down global figures and resulting in a sequential drop in the company’s combined quarterly taking, as opposed to Q1.

As noted at the beginning of the story, a lot of attention has been placed on retail chief John Browett. Apparently, Browett has a track record in making cuts. His reputation at Dixons and PC World tells the story. With regards to Dixons, Browett earned the status of a shrewd turnaround manager, after he made hundreds of job cuts and pulled the company out of a once familiar rut back in 2007.