October 15, 2013
Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts Takes Retail Lead At Apple
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Apple has finally found a head worthy of its retail operations in former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts.
Apple’s retail operations have been without a dedicated leader since last October when John Browett was removed from his position as senior vice president of Retail. Browett was only with the company for ten months, filling the shoes of Ron Johnson, the long-tenured head of retail who left Apple in 2011 to take over the CEO position for American retailer J.C. Penney. Now Ahrendts will take on the newly created senior vice president of retail and online stores position at Apple starting spring of 2014.
“I am profoundly honored to join Apple in this newly created position next year, and very much look forward to working with the global teams to further enrich the consumer experience on and offline,” said Ahrendts in an Apple press statement.
“I have always admired the innovation and impact Apple products and services have on people’s lives and hope in some small way I can help contribute to the company’s continued success and leadership in changing the world,” she added.
In her new role, Ahrendts will be responsible for running and expanding Apple’s successful physical retail stores as well as its online retail experiences. This will be Ahrendts’ first venture into the tech field, though her pedigree makes her a good fit for Apple’s design-forward approach to consumer products.
At the age of 29 Ahrendts became the president of Donna Karan International and became an executive board member for Liz Claiborne in 1998. She joined Burberry in 2006 as a part of a corporate turnaround.
According to The Independent, Ahrendts helped improve the company’s stock earnings dramatically; an investment of $160 in 2006 would be worth nearly $575 today. The Independent also reports Ahrendts was receiving an annual salary nearing $27 million including bonuses and other rewards. It has not been announced how much Apple will pay Ahrendts to fill the long-vacant vice president of retail shoes.
“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a press statement. “She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience.”
Until 2011, Apple’s retail expansion had been led by one man; Ron Johnson. He joined the computer company in 2000 from Target and helped Steve Jobs build out the brick and mortar locations and online store. Johnson's departure in June 2011 left the spot open for several months before Browett was appointed to the spot. After Browett's departure in 2012, CEO Tim Cook stepped in to handle retail operations until a suitable replacement could be found.