Apple hires Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to lead retail efforts

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2019
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 81
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 81

    John Browett is Papermastered.

  • Reply 3 of 81
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    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

  • Reply 4 of 81
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    oi! not the chavs!
  • Reply 5 of 81
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    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
    matrix07 wrote: »
    I would love to re-read again what Cook talked about Browett when he was hired. :D

    https://www.apple.com/pr/library/2012/01/31John-Browett-Joins-Apple-as-Senior-Vice-President-of-Retail.html
    “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.”
  • Reply 6 of 81
    dnd0psdnd0ps Posts: 253member

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

  • Reply 7 of 81
    Good to have female in its management team.
  • Reply 8 of 81
    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.

  • Reply 9 of 81
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    dnd0ps wrote: »
    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.
    konqerror wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 81
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 81
    citycity Posts: 522member
    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.

  • Reply 12 of 81
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 81
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    philboogie wrote: »
    “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.
  • Reply 14 of 81
    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

  • Reply 15 of 81
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,955member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 81
    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.

  • Reply 17 of 81
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 81
    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.
    [URL]
  • Reply 19 of 81
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 81
    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...)

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