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Apple hires Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to lead retail efforts

post #1 of 82
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Finally filling the slot left vacant after former retail chief John Browett was fired last year, Apple on Tuesday announced that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will take on the newly-created position of Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores.

Ahrendts
Angela Ahrendts will become Apple's SVP of Retail and Online Stores in 2014. | Source: The Times UK


In her new role, Ahrendts, who spent much of her professional career in the fashion industry, will have "oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores," Apple said in a statement. She will start working at the company next spring.

"I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team," said CEO Tim Cook, to whom Ahrendts will report directly. "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."

The "SVP of Retail and Online Stores" role is new to Apple's organizational chart, and appears to afford Ahrendts more control over the company's important Apple Store business than her predecessor John Browett had during his nine-month stint as SVP of Retail. Browett was ousted in October 2012 after a report surfaced claiming the former Dixons CEO made a series of administrative moves to boost margins at the expense of Apple Store employees and overall customer experience.

Ahrendts has a long pedigree in corporate leadership spanning more than 20 years in the highly competitive fashion industry. In 1989, at the age of 29, Ahrendts became president of Donna Karan International. She was then named to the executive board of Liz Claiborne in 1998 before joining Burberry as CEO in 2006.

For her part, Ahrendts, who will be the only woman in a senior leadership position at Apple, said that she is "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," she said.

Ahrendts is the second high-level executive from a major fashion house to be wooed away by Apple over the past few months. In July, the Cupertino, Calif., company brought on former Yves-Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on "special projects."
post #2 of 82
That must have been a sweet deal. Apparently (from Wiki) in 2012 she was the highest paid CEO in the UK making $26.3 million.
post #3 of 82

John Browett is Papermastered.

post #4 of 82

This is an area where the past record was not great for Tim Cook but looks like he might nail it this time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team," said CEO Tim Cook, to whom Ahrendts will report directly. "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."
 

I would love to re-read what Cook talked about Browett when he was hired. :D


Edited by matrix07 - 10/15/13 at 2:48am
post #5 of 82
oi! not the chavs!
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post #6 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

For her part, Ahrendts, who will be the only woman in a senior leadership role at Apple ...

So members of the BoD aren't considered having a 'senior leadership role at Apple', like Andrea Jung, who, incidentally is the only one without a personal profile page: http://www.apple.com/pr/bios/ yet can be found at Avon: http://www.avoncompany.com/aboutavon/executiveleadership/andrea_jung.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

I would love to re-read again what Cook talked about Browett when he was hired. 1biggrin.gif

https://www.apple.com/pr/library/2012/01/31John-Browett-Joins-Apple-as-Senior-Vice-President-of-Retail.html
Quote:
“Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.”
post #7 of 82

First female SVP! That might silence all the feminists out there

post #8 of 82
Good to have female in its management team.
post #9 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

So members of the BoD aren't considered having a 'senior leadership role at Apple'

 

The purpose of a public company's Board of Directors is to provide shareholder oversight of a company's C-suite leadership. It's correct to say that the Board does not lead the company as it is not involved in daily or in many cases long-term management decisions. The people on a Board have regular day jobs and only meet several times a year.

post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnd0ps View Post

First female SVP! That might silence all the feminists out there

Then I must've listened in the wrong direction, as I didn't know they were vocal about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

The purpose of a public company's Board of Directors is to provide shareholder oversight of a company's C-suite leadership. It's correct to say that the Board does not lead the company as it is not involved in daily or in many cases long-term management decisions. The people on a Board have regular day jobs and only meet several times a year.

Ah, good to know, thanks.
post #11 of 82
Where do people like John Browett and Ron Johnson go after failing so publicly at Apple and JCP...?

I mean are they off in some small town running the local Salvation Army second hand clothing outlet?
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post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy_mac_lover View Post

Good to have female in its management team.

The Apple Retail Stores will soon be decorated colorful couches and throw pillows. Nice!

The staff will sport new shirts or no shirt and maybe skirts.


Edited by city - 10/15/13 at 1:28am
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post #13 of 82
I saw the following comment on All Things D...

Clearly, Apple is making a statement with naming a luxury brand CEO to head up retail that it has no intentions of going down market. Also, why would Angela Ahrendts, a long time boss of Burberry go to Apple if she didn’t see the long term roadmap and feel excited about it. After seeing three new Apple stores open up next to high street brands like Louis Vitton recently, it all is starting to make sense. As they say, never to wrestle with a pig ($200 android) in the mud. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

“Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.”

Ha. Ha. Ha. Priceless.

Many thanks Phil.
post #15 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotoformat View Post

That must have been a sweet deal. Apparently (from Wiki) in 2012 she was the highest paid CEO in the UK making $26.3 million.

She did very well at Burberry, expanding it to a dynamic global luxury brand and certainly did well for shareholder as this chart shows: 

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=BRBY.L+Interactive#symbol=BRBY.L;range=5y

 

In the last 5 years she has increased Burberry annual operating profits from £181 million to £428 million

 

CNBC ran a negative piece about her move to Apple, saying that Burberry had problems in China - but who does't.

 

The cnbc talking head showed his true colors and total ignorance, saying that Apple were "in trouble" because they had gene "downmarket" and may not be suitable company for an upmarket brand CEO....LOL

 

Pity the poor innocent investors who look to cnbc for objective investment advice and comments....LOL

post #16 of 82
I never understood the hire of Browett. It was also criticized, as his work experience didn't involve customer experience, but rather selling cheaper items at poorly led stores. He had problems from the very beginning.

But this is a great hire. Angela is a very respected leader, and has done a seriously positive job wherever she's been. She's been responsible for turning Burberry, a very old and staid company, whose raincoats I've been buying for over thirty years, into a fashionable company appealing to younger people as well. It's no longer your gradfather's clothing store. Well, that is, it is, but it's also their grandchildren's store as well. An amazing accomplishment!

And Burberry does now have less expensive items that it only manufactured and carried before, but not cheap items. An advantage here is that Burberry is much more like what Apple is in that it makes all it's own products. It's not a willi nilli random mess of third party junk.
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I never understood the hire of Browett. It was also criticized, as his work experience didn't involve customer experience, but rather selling cheaper items at poorly led stores. He had problems from the very beginning.

But this is a great hire. Angela is a very respected leader, and has done a seriously positive job wherever she's been. She's been responsible for turning Burberry, a very old and staid company, whose raincoats I've been buying for over thirty years, into a fashionable company appealing to younger people as well. It's no longer your gradfather's clothing store. Well, that is, it is, but it's also their grandchildren's store as well. An amazing accomplishment!

And Burberry does now have less expensive items that it only manufactured and carried before, but not cheap items. An advantage here is that Burberry is much more like what Apple is in that it makes all it's own products. It's not a willi nilli random mess of third party junk.

I researched Brovett's background when he was appointed and checked the website of his former company where great emphasis was made on measuring and improving customers satisfaction and care. He seemed an ideal fit for Apple's philosophy.

 

Then, when he took over at Apple stores, forgot about customer satisfaction and he started to try cost cutting and upset staff from top to bottom at the expense of customer care - strange that he so misunderstood his mission.

post #18 of 82
Nice to have a woman added to the Executive Team. Long past due.

Hell, we always had women in positions of top decision making at NeXT.

Now Andrea Jang isn't flying solo any more.
post #19 of 82
This TEDx talk will give an idea of what to expect. Is that an iPad mini I see? There's a lot of Tim Cook's presentation style here, too, I think.
http://youtu.be/mZNlN31hS78
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SidricTheViking View Post

This TEDx talk will give an idea of what to expect. Is that an iPad mini I see? There's a lot of Tim Cook's presentation style here, too, I think.
http://youtu.be/mZNlN31hS78

Thanks for the link...

Very impressive!
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post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secular Investor View Post
 

I researched Brovett's background when he was appointed and checked the website of his former company where great emphasis was made on measuring and improving customers satisfaction and care. He seemed an ideal fit for Apple's philosophy.

 

Then, when he took over at Apple stores, forgot about customer satisfaction and he started to try cost cutting and upset staff from top to bottom at the expense of customer care - strange that he so misunderstood his mission.

 

Hey Secular Investor

 

I don't know which part of the world you live in, but here in the UK it is well known that Dixons offered shoddy customer service by poorly trained stuff. Reality is totally different to what they "aimed for" in theory (I do not think they even aimed for customer satisfaction, just profits). Dixons was definitely way downmarket than Apple and when Browett was hired, it did not make any sense to me. That was definitely Cook's mistake.

Let's hope Angela does better.

 

(The only reason I use past tense in my comment about Dixons is because I do not visit those stores any more - pointless...)

post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

oi! not the chavs!

 

Dooooooooooooomed!

 

http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/22/iphone-5cheap/

post #23 of 82

Give her a chance !

post #24 of 82
Apple finally has a chic on their exec team..
post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giorgio View Post
 

 

Hey Secular Investor

 

I don't know which part of the world you live in, but here in the UK it is well known that Dixons offered shoddy customer service by poorly trained stuff. Reality is totally different to what they "aimed for" in theory (I do not think they even aimed for customer satisfaction, just profits). Dixons was definitely way downmarket than Apple and when Browett was hired, it did not make any sense to me. That was definitely Cook's mistake.

Let's hope Angela does better.

 

(The only reason I use past tense in my comment about Dixons is because I do not visit those stores any more - pointless...)

Yes, I agree that Dixons and PC World etc are down market discounters..

 

But I did find this section on their website which made a big thing about all the efforts the company were making training staff to improve customer service and satisfaction, with tables showing how customer satisfaction improved.

 

It was probably this which got him the job at Apple. But then he forgot all that while he concentrated on cutting staffing costs, etc. which totally demoralised the Apple retail staff from top to bottom.

 

There are great opportunities to expand Apple's stores. I  would like top see a huge, rapid increase in retail outlets around the world, but without sacrificing  Apple's really high customer satisfaction ratings. 

 

BTW Angela Ahrendts worked with Apple in several of her Burberry fashion multi media shows, which were big hits with customers and the media.

post #26 of 82
This is great news. I can't wait to see more direction in the retail space. Also, TC can get back to making sure the ship is sailing smoothly instead of carrying the weight of the retail role on his shoulders.
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnd0ps View Post

First female SVP! That might silence all the feminists out there

Stop being such a jerk. I'll bet she has more managerial talent in her left pinkie nail than you do in your whole (snarky) self.

Moreover, Apple has been sticking out in the Valley as a rather....shall we say....homogenous-looking corporate throwback. Just look at the diversity in other well known companies and you'll see what I mean.
post #28 of 82
Great news for Apple.

Sounds like a fabulous talent and a great hire, and clearly fits the bill as far as the needed cachet goes.
post #29 of 82
Burberry certainly have managed to turn a staid brand into a cool brand without losing their original clients. So it's posh country, urban hipsters and rap gangsters. That's impressive.

She can certainly go downmarket - to mid market - without harming a loyal base.
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post #30 of 82
post #31 of 82

Well this seems a much more natural fit than the box-shifter from Dixons (anyone from the UK could have, and many did, say that he would not work out).

 

Somebody who grasps iconography and style, rather than a volume obsessive.

post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by otterfish View Post

http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/22/iphone-5cheap/

Thanks for that link:
Quote:
Burberry was able to save itself by hiring a new CEO, Angela Ahrendts, who led an effort to buy back 23 of its licenses and fight counterfeiters. Ahrendts also scaled back its signature plaid so it appeared on just 5% of Burberry clothing instead of 20%. It signed on new faces for the brand like Emma Watson, and sued people who used its trademark illegally. Burberry is even working with Apple and the 5s to capture photos of its new fashion line.

Soon, Burberry regained its image as a sought-after upscale brand, and sales of its pricier items soared, and Burberry revenue has more than doubled to ₤1.9 billion. However, the chav image still haunts Burberry to this day.

She really looks to be a valuable asset to the team. Props to Apples negotiating skills.
post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SidricTheViking View Post

This TEDx talk will give an idea of what to expect. Is that an iPad mini I see? There's a lot of Tim Cook's presentation style here, too, I think.
http://youtu.be/mZNlN31hS78

I agree. It was a good presentation. It was as if she was ”auditioning" for Apple.

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post #34 of 82

I will beat my worn out drum again.  Apple will be melding high tech and high fashion as we've never seen before because that place, nobody has the brand cachet to follow, mimic, imitate or duplicate them.  Not Samsung, not Google, not Microsoft, not no one.

post #35 of 82
For a good laugh, check out the CNBC report on this story.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101111899

In the video, the red hair pundit states, basically, that:

- Apple is leaving China
- Moving manufacturing to the USA (Texas) with "100% automation"
- This will result in significant restructuring of how Apple operates

I wonder if anyone told Tim Cook he is moving all of Apple manufacturing to Texas?

Too funny.

Edit to correct spelling. Sorry!
Edited by Xiao-zhi - 10/16/13 at 9:54am
post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

I will beat my worn out drum again.  Apple will be melding high tech and high fashion as we've never seen before because that place, nobody has the brand cachet to follow, mimic, imitate or duplicate them.  Not Samsung, not Google, not Microsoft, not no one.

I agree, none of those 3 companies have taste. Like Steve said, "I mean that in a big way".

I don't have to have the same taste, I don't have to agree to their taste, but they simply have no taste. At all. Which I think is sad, actually.
post #37 of 82
Ron Johnson had a proven record and look what happened to him at JC Penny.
post #38 of 82
President of Dona Kiran international at 29? She's a go-getter. What an impressive resume that was promoted to different roles based on her performance. Unlike your typical board member that sucks and still lands another CEO job the next day or at least ends up on a board.

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post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Ron Johnson had a proven record and look what happened to him at JC Penny.

Since when Ron Johnson was ever a CEO?
post #40 of 82
After he was fired from JCP I predicted Ron Johnson would make a grand return to Apple. FAIL

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