Apple has poached the CEO of Burberry to run its retail operation, with Angela Ahrendts joining the iPhone maker in spring 2014.
Ahrendts has been appointed as a senior vice-president and will become a member of the executive team, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Apple said she will be responsible for 'the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores'.
Her hire is Cook's second attempt to appoint someone to run the retail team. He hired former Dixons CEO John Browett last year but his tenure at Apple proved short-lived. Her decision to leave Burberry was greeted with dismay by investors, with the fashion company's share price down 6% since the announcement was made. Before she joined Burberry, Ahrendts worked at Liz Claiborne and Donna Karan.
Cook said: 'I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team. She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience. She has shown herself to be an extraordinary leader throughout her career and has a proven track record.'
Ahrendts said: '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. 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.'
Author: Graeme Neill