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Speculation increases over Angela Ahrendts's start date as head of Apple Retail

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
With the exact date that incoming Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts will leave her position at Burberry still unannounced, some have speculated that the fashion executive may be delaying her departure in order to collect on Burberry share bonuses worth as much as ?8 million.

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


April marks the end of the six month period Ahrendts is contractually obligated to serve after her resignation in order to transition the business to her successor, but The Guardian believes that she may not actually leave for Cupertino until June, when she is due two separate multimillion-pound bonuses. Some have also said that she may be attempting to negotiate a deal between the two companies that would allow her to leave as soon as May while still collecting some or all of the bonuses.

"It's a big sum of money. In some ways it would be good to see the business moving on after six months of handover time. You want to see clarity," Neev Capital analyst Rahul Sharma told the publication.

Another factor affecting Ahrendts's departure may be the dubious regard in which creative executive Christopher Bailey, who has been tapped to succeed Ahrendts as head of the fashion house, is held by stockholders. Many are thought to believe that he is not yet ready to balance both roles and may need more time under Ahrendts's tutelage.

When announcing her hire, Apple said only that Ahrendts would join the iPhone maker "in the spring," which is widely regarded as ending in May. A June start date would push the time that Apple's retail stores went without a senior-level leader to more than a year and a half after former retail chief John Browett was fired in 2012.

When she does come on board, Ahrendts will take over a larger swath of the company than Browett or inaugural Apple retail executive Ron Johnson. She will oversee both the brick-and-mortar and online retail operations, the first time both channels have reported to the same executive.
post #2 of 71
It's a very unusual move to bring in a CEO for this kind of senior-level position, unless she is seen as a logical successor to Tim when he is ready to retire. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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post #3 of 71
Sure..
Edited by Wurm5150 - 4/17/14 at 7:10am
post #4 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's a very unusual move to bring in a CEO for this kind of senior-level position, unless she is seen as a logical successor to Tim when he is ready to retire. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I think a Senior VP position at Apple is equivalent to a CEO position at any other company.
post #5 of 71
For £8M I'd wait a couple more months too..
post #6 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

I think a Senior VP position at Apple is equivalent to a CEO position at any other company.

I stand by my theory. Apple hasn't been hiring any other world-class CEOs recently.

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post #7 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's a very unusual move to bring in a CEO for this kind of senior-level position, unless she is seen as a logical successor to Tim when he is ready to retire. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Apple has hired several CEOs from other companies. There could be multiple people in position to succeed Tim Cook "when he ready to retire"..
post #8 of 71
It's been 6 months already since the announcement came out. It's not a healthy situation for Apple to have this linger for so long. It's time for her to jump in and start

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post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

It's been 6 months already since the announcement came out. It's not a healthy situation for Apple to have this linger for so long. It's time for her to jump in and start

Agreed.  I hope/assume she'll really hit the ground running when she finally starts.

post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

It's been 6 months already since the announcement came out. It's not a healthy situation for Apple to have this linger for so long. It's time for her to jump in and start
I wish she had already started so maybe we could see her on stage at WWDC. I keep hearing how she's such a great public speaker. She'd probably be more enjoyable to listen to than Cook.
post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's a very unusual move to bring in a CEO for this kind of senior-level position, unless she is seen as a logical successor to Tim when he is ready to retire. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

 

Apple's been tapping the CEO ranks of the business world to fill VP positions.  So this doesn't necessarily imply they are interested in her as a successor, but rather are interested in acquiring CEO-level talent to run a part of apple's business with revenues larger than many S&P 500 companies. 

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post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's a very unusual move to bring in a CEO for this kind of senior-level position, unless she is seen as a logical successor to Tim when he is ready to retire. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

We're going to assume she understands retail. I'd say she was offered the job and couldn't resist. It's pretty much the most exciting retail job on earth right now and she knows that I'm sure. And she'll probably end up making more money at Apple too.

And from Apple's standpoint I'd bet their looking to people that have past experience doing a good job managing lots of people. God knows what they were thinking hiring the guy who ran Dixons though.
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post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Apple has hired several CEOs from other companies. There could be multiple people in position to succeed Tim Cook "when he ready to retire"..

Which ones have been hired with a pedigree like hers?

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post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's a very unusual move to bring in a CEO for this kind of senior-level position, unless she is seen as a logical successor to Tim when he is ready to retire. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I wouldn't say that. She is moving to a much larger company. Lots of CEOs do that. Browlett did. If it were just a vp position, then I would agree with you. We've seen a lot of smaller company CEOs taker lessor positions at Apple over the years.

But at Apple, a senior vp is the highest position under the CEO. It doesn't mean that you aren't right, and that she may be thought of as a possible successor. That would certainly be an interesting choice! She is being given a wide portfolio. I'm pretty psyched up by this.

I also understand why she wants to get those bonus's. If I were in her position, I'd likely do the same thing.
post #15 of 71

I am sorry, this does not sound right, is she that stupid and short sighted to worry about a bonus when in fact her future and bonuses as Apple could be far larger than the 8M she will get from her current company. 

 

Also any options she get will most likely be based on the start date, today id lowest it has been in a while so getting on board now could mean a larger return in the future.

post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

It's been 6 months already since the announcement came out. It's not a healthy situation for Apple to have this linger for so long. It's time for her to jump in and start

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Agreed.  I hope/assume she'll really hit the ground running when she finally starts.

I don't see another month or so making much of a difference. For all we know, she's been working with Apple on direction already. Both companies seem to have a friendly relationship, even with her leaving. In fact, with her at Apple, and leaving Burberry on good terms, would be good for Burberry as well. She could still prefer using Burberry in her technology work. That's free advertising for them. It pays for everyone to be happy here.
post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I wish she had already started so maybe we could see her on stage at WWDC. I keep hearing how she's such a great public speaker. She'd probably be more enjoyable to listen to than Cook.

True that. But he's trying.
post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

We're going to assume she understands retail. I'd say she was offered the job and couldn't resist. It's pretty much the most exciting retail job on earth right now and she knows that I'm sure. And she'll probably end up making more money at Apple too.

And from Apple's standpoint I'd bet their looking to people that have past experience doing a good job managing lots of people. God knows what they were thinking hiring the guy who ran Dixons though.

I agree. She's very highly rated in the retail industry. She's brought Burberry to many more people, and led it to great growth and profits in an otherwise stagnant industry.

I also don't understand why they hired Browlett. But, it certainly taught them things about high level hires! She is the polar opposite of Browlett. And it's nice to finally see a woman in the top ranks of the company.
post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

True that. But he's trying.

Tim is improving a bit, but his presentation skills don't concern me as long as he has a great speaker like Craig Federighi to take up the slack.

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post #20 of 71
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Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

I am sorry, this does not sound right, is she that stupid and short sighted to worry about a bonus when in fact her future and bonuses as Apple could be far larger than the 8M she will get from her current company. 

Also any options she get will most likely be based on the start date, today id lowest it has been in a while so getting on board now could mean a larger return in the future.

She's likely a lot smarter than any of us. Big business operates in ways that are different from what you may think. Even with my own, much smaller, companies, I've hired people who needed to wait for a bonus. It happens. It isn't the end of the world. You're acting as if this means much. It's only another four to six weeks. Not much.
post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I wish she had already started so maybe we could see her on stage at WWDC. I keep hearing how she's such a great public speaker. She'd probably be more enjoyable to listen to than Cook.

 

She's definitely better to look at, at least.

post #22 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanukStorm View Post

She's definitely better to look at, at least.

And she's married, with three kids. Not bad at balancing her work and life.

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post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Tim is improving a bit, but his presentation skills don't concern me as long as he has a great speaker like Craig Federighi to take up the slack.

I watch a lot of companies do presentations, and even without Jobs, Apple is, by far, the best of them. Tim is, from reports, a shy person. Jobs wasn't. He's been taking lessons on presenting. And he does give Shiller and the rest more time than Jobs did except when he was sicker, and too weak to be up there too long, sadly.

I've seen her give some speeches on YouTube, and she looks pretty good. We'll just have to see how she does here.
post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


We're going to assume she understands retail. I'd say she was offered the job and couldn't resist. It's pretty much the most exciting retail job on earth right now and she knows that I'm sure. And she'll probably end up making more money at Apple too.

And from Apple's standpoint I'd bet their looking to people that have past experience doing a good job managing lots of people. God knows what they were thinking hiring the guy who ran Dixons though.


There have been multiple articles re. Angela Ahrendts in the press, both mainstream and Apple-centric, describing her success in turning around and greatly expanding Burberry, public speaking acumen, weaving together Burberry's retail outlets with technology and social media, expansion of retail outlets in Asia, etc. etc. etc. There's also a TED-talk she gave that's available on YouTube, as well as other talks/speeches. I think the NYTimes or Wash. Post did a feature on her shortly after the Apple hire became known. Ahrendts is the one that got Apple to cough up a slew of the 5s iPhones ahead of the product launch so they could be used to film the Burberry runway show.

post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


She's likely a lot smarter than any of us. Big business operates in ways that are different from what you may think. Even with my own, much smaller, companies, I've hired people who needed to wait for a bonus. It happens. It isn't the end of the world. You're acting as if this means much. It's only another four to six weeks. Not much.

Trust me I work for some very large companies and I would tell you if someone told me they were delaying their start for a few months to get a bonus I would tell them the offer expires midnight tomorrow.  It is short sighted, since you know she going to make a lot more at Apple, just look as her pay now and what any exec at Apple gets paid. 

 

I personally left money on a the table going to another company since future potential was better than worrying about they I could have made at the previous company. 

 

Also, I would image her contract probably has language in to that said they she would get all or portion of that bonus even if she left early. I world for a company which Bonuses were prorated base on how long you were there during the bonus period. I a know people who left and still got the bonus which was due to them.

 

Again it does not seem to add up.

post #26 of 71
I would just like to point out that spring isn't "widely regarded to end in May". Here, at least, spring ends June 21. As Apple often make announcements such as: ---- product will come out in the spring, or in the winter, or in the first quarter, or in the third quarter, etc., and then it comes out on the very last day of that period, I think we can safely say that she is on track to meet her commitment if she gets here in late June. All of what we are reading about this is speculation. If the British want to think spring is widely understood to end a month before it ends, that's fine with me.

I would imagine that all of this was ironed out when she and Apple first began their negotiations, and this isn't something that just now cropped up. That's not even within the wildest possibility. These things are choreographed very carefully when at such a high level.
post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


I stand by my theory. Apple hasn't been hiring any other world-class CEOs recently.

 

Apple is much much larger than Burberry, and the skill-set required to run it is quite different.  As you know, retail is but a subset of all that is Apple - an important one, no doubt.  Ms. Ahrendts should be proud to make a move from lauded CEO of a tiny company (relative to Apple) to a high level executive in charge of retail at a behemoth like Apple.  

 

My belief is that they hired Ms Ahrendts to do exactly what they say:  run retail, which her skill-set seems to match well... including online presence, unlike her predecessor (who was also a CEO of a retail company when he was brought on).  If your theory is that Apple is looking to her as Tim Cook's understudy for an eventual succession, well I would say that its unlikely to be a thought that is foremost in their minds right now.  Those thoughts would wait until she actually gets there and they find out what she can really do in Apple's universe.  It would be more of a thing like, "well, hopefully she is awesome at her new job, and we'll see how it goes from there."  Pretty much like any high level hire that they make.

 

Besides which, there is entirely too much talk out there about possible Tim Cook replacements.  The man is doing an awesome job.  As good as anyone else could have done under these unique circumstances - including Steve.  I really don't believe that the board is gnashing their teeth over Apple's failure to increase the stock price over the last year and a half.  They are probably privy to some of the plans that Tim will unload on the rest of us in the next year or so.  I'm sure they are impressed and willing to wait until things are right and ready.

 

Thompson

post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Trust me I work for some very large companies and I would tell you if someone told me they were delaying their start for a few months to get a bonus I would tell them the offer expires midnight tomorrow.  It is short sighted, since you know she going to make a lot more at Apple, just look as her pay now and what any exec at Apple gets paid. 

I personally left money on a the table going to another company since future potential was better than worrying about they I could have made at the previous company. 

Also, I would image her contract probably has language in to that said they she would get all or portion of that bonus even if she left early. I world for a company which Bonuses were prorated base on how long you were there during the bonus period. I a know people who left and still got the bonus which was due to them.

Again it does not seem to add up.

I don't care who you work for. Names unknown. But I do know that his isn't uncommon. And it's not a last minute decision, as I made clear in my post above this response to you. If a company has a deadline for a hire, and that hire isn't very important, then it would kill the deal. But if the hire is important, and they are going to wait six months for that hire to appear, another few weeks isn't going to make a bit of a difference. And I don't believe for one minute, that all of this wasn't known, and accounted for in the very beginning. Remember, this is all just speculation by the paper.
post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
 

Trust me I work for some very large companies and I would tell you if someone told me they were delaying their start for a few months to get a bonus I would tell them the offer expires midnight tomorrow.  It is short sighted, since you know she going to make a lot more at Apple, just look as her pay now and what any exec at Apple gets paid. 

 

I personally left money on a the table going to another company since future potential was better than worrying about they I could have made at the previous company. 

 

Also, I would image her contract probably has language in to that said they she would get all or portion of that bonus even if she left early. I world for a company which Bonuses were prorated base on how long you were there during the bonus period. I a know people who left and still got the bonus which was due to them.

 

Again it does not seem to add u

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I would just like to point out that spring isn't "widely regarded to end in May". Here, at least, spring ends June 21. As Apple often make announcements such as: ---- product will come out in the spring, or in the winter, or in the first quarter, or in the third quarter, etc., and then it comes out on the very last day of that period, I think we can safely say that she is on track to meet her commitment if she gets here in late June. All of what we are reading about this is speculation. If the British want to think spring is widely understood to end a month before it ends, that's fine with me.

I would imagine that all of this was ironed out when she and Apple first began their negotiations, and this isn't something that just now cropped up. That's not even within the wildest possibility. These things are choreographed very carefully when at such a high level.


Agreed! This AI article is based on speculation from the British tabloids, which aren't exactly known for their subtlety and caution. The Guardian's not so coy title on the article: Doubt over leaving date for outgoing boss at Burberry

post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Tim is improving a bit, but his presentation skills don't concern me as long as he has a great speaker like Craig Federighi to take up the slack.

You clearly haven't heard a truly "great speaker" if you think Craig Federighi is.  Is he a great speaker for a software engineer?  Absolutely.  But he ain't Zig Zigler.

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post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwriter927 View Post



Agreed! This AI article is based on speculation from the British tabloids, which aren't exactly known for their subtlety and caution. The Guardian's not so coy title on the article: Doubt over leaving date for outgoing boss at Burberry

Also, there's a difference between when a person leaves a company, and when they arrive at their new one. That date doesn't have to be the same. Many times, they take a week or two of vacation in between, to clear their head.
post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

You clearly haven't heard a truly "great speaker" if you think Craig Federighi is.  Is he a great speaker for a software engineer?  Absolutely.  But he ain't Zig Zigler.

Have you watched Samsung's presentations, or Microsoft's, or that of HTC? How many truly great speakers are there in any generation? Everything is in comparison with others. Compared to most others, he's great. So is Shiller, and others.
post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I would just like to point out that spring isn't "widely regarded to end in May". Here, at least, spring ends June 21. As Apple often make announcements such as: ---- product will come out in the spring, or in the winter, or in the first quarter, or in the third quarter, etc., and then it comes out on the very last day of that period, I think we can safely say that she is on track to meet her commitment if she gets here in late June. All of what we are reading about this is speculation. If the British want to think spring is widely understood to end a month before it ends, that's fine with me.

I would imagine that all of this was ironed out when she and Apple first began their negotiations, and this isn't something that just now cropped up. That's not even within the wildest possibility. These things are choreographed very carefully when at such a high level.

Not just the British. The summer solstice has been known as "Midsummer's Day" for thousands of years all over Europe. As far as I can tell, it's only US weather presenters on TV who seriously promote the solstices as the "first day" of winter or summer
post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

Apple's been tapping the CEO ranks of the business world to fill VP positions.  So this doesn't necessarily imply they are interested in her as a successor, but rather are interested in acquiring CEO-level talent to run a part of apple's business with revenues larger than many S&P 500 companies. 

Maybe it was a lesson learned from the Browett fiasco. I'm sure others at Apple were thinking "WTF?" when Cook hired him.

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post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by thompr View Post

Apple is much much larger than Burberry, and the skill-set required to run it is quite different.  As you know, retail is but a subset of all that is Apple - an important one, no doubt.  Ms. Ahrendts should be proud to make a move from lauded CEO of a tiny company (relative to Apple) to a high level executive in charge of retail at a behemoth like Apple.  

My belief is that they hired Ms Ahrendts to do exactly what they say:  run retail, which her skill-set seems to match well... including online presence, unlike her predecessor (who was also a CEO of a retail company when he was brought on).  If your theory is that Apple is looking to her as Tim Cook's understudy for an eventual succession, well I would say that its unlikely to be a thought that is foremost in their minds right now.  Those thoughts would wait until she actually gets there and they find out what she can really do in Apple's universe.  It would be more of a thing like, "well, hopefully she is awesome at her new job, and we'll see how it goes from there."  Pretty much like any high level hire that they make.

Besides which, there is entirely too much talk out there about possible Tim Cook replacements.  The man is doing an awesome job.  As good as anyone else could have done under these unique circumstances - including Steve.  I really don't believe that the board is gnashing their teeth over Apple's failure to increase the stock price over the last year and a half.  They are probably privy to some of the plans that Tim will unload on the rest of us in the next year or so.  I'm sure they are impressed and willing to wait until things are right and ready.

Thompson
Watch the recent episode of MacBreak Weekly. Both Andy Ihnatko and Rene Ritchie said from what they've heard, no one inside Apple is trying to claim the Steve Jobs mantle. I'm sure some would find that worrying, that Apple needs a "visionary". But personally I think the executives at Apple know Steve can't be replaced and they're not trying to groom any one person to be the next Steve. I hope when Angela starts she's able to do her job and doesn't have to deal with any noise about if she's being groomed to take over the
CEO role.
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Also, there's a difference between when a person leaves a company, and when they arrive at their new one. That date doesn't have to be the same. Many times, they take a week or two of vacation in between, to clear their head.

 

And with 3 school-aged children and husband, moving back to the US after 8 yrs living in the UK is in the mix as well. At the time of the announcement from Apple last fall, Ahrendts was described as Tim Cook's most important hire. I somehow doubt anyone at Apple is currently pacing the floor and clock watching, waiting for her to appear.

post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Not just the British. The summer solstice has been known as "Midsummer's Day" for thousands of years all over Europe. As far as I can tell, it's only US weather presenters on TV who seriously promote the solstices as the "first day" of winter or summer

It doesn't matter. She is going to work for Apple. And spring ends June 21.
post #38 of 71
I love the phrase that spring "is widely regarded as ending in May". Since Summer starts on June 21 this year, I'm wondering to what season those interim 3 weeks are to be assigned...
post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


Have you watched Samsung's presentations, or Microsoft's, or that of HTC? How many truly great speakers are there in any generation?

Ive seen the Samsung mess-up with Michael Bay.  but to answer your question- Nope.  And I'm a tech fan.  I would venture to say the majority of people who watch those are developers or nerds.  Whereas Apple has developers, nerds, and plenty of fans that watch.

I didn't argue that Craig wasn't better than any speaker samsung, MS, or HTC has.  I'm simply stating he's not a great speaker. Not by any means. 

To answer your 2nd question- thousands upon thousands.  Now if you were to ask how many software engineers are there that are solid speakers? I'd say one.  Craig. 

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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwriter927 View Post

 

Agreed! This AI article is based on speculation from the British tabloids, which aren't exactly known for their subtlety and caution. The Guardian's not so coy title on the article: Doubt over leaving date for outgoing boss at Burberry

 

The Guardian is not a tabloid, unless you count breaking the News Corp. phone hacking scandal, PRISM, and the Edward Snowden revelations as "tabloid journalism."

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