Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts to speak at Bloomberg Year Ahead Summit next week

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
Apple's senior VP of Retail and Online Stores, Angela Ahrendts, will be a centerpiece speaker at next week's Year Ahead Summit hosted by Bloomberg, according to an official announcement.




The executive will sit down for an interview with Bloomberg's Stephanie Mehta on the second day of the conference, Nov. 10. The event is being host at the Park Hyatt hotel in New York City, with attendance restricted to an invited gathering of CEOs, presidents, and board members from various global corporations.

Ahrendts will talk about "progressive leadership and how executives can better lead in 2016," Bloomberg said.

The VP left her role as Burberry CEO for Apple in 2014, and has overseen a number of changes at Apple retail, including reorganizing shops to showcase the Apple Watch. Some recently-opened stores -- for example one in Dubai -- have adopted a new look more reminiscent of fashion outlets, and Apple's online store has merged into the main website.

Other speakers at Year Ahead will include Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam, and Diane von Furstenberg, chairwoman of her namesake fashion brand.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    I'm still unsure why it was necessary to hire Ahrendts to run Apple retail, unless she has unique knowledge of Chinese markets (for example) that another hire could not provide?

    Also, I wonder how she views her position at Apple? Is she being groomed as an eventual Cook replacement? Why go from CEO of a successful fashion brand to a lesser role otherwise?
  • Reply 2 of 13
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'm still unsure why it was necessary to hire Ahrendts to run Apple retail, unless she has unique knowledge of Chinese markets (for example) that another hire could not provide?

    Also, I wonder how she views her position at Apple? Is she being groomed as an eventual Cook replacement? Why go from CEO of a successful fashion brand to a lesser role otherwise?

    This NY Times piece wonders what's up with Angela. She hasn't been on stage at any Apple event (even though she's known for her public speaking). She didn't attend the ?Watch Hermés launch party (Jony Ive, Marc Newson and Paul Deneve were there) and its Jony Ive front and center with Apple's sponsorship of the Met Gala. maybe this is just her (or Apple's) way of saying she was hired to run retail, not be the public face of the company or SVP of Fashion.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/27/fashion/apple-and-the-elusive-angela-ahrendts.html?_r=1
  • Reply 3 of 13
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,945member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    I'm still unsure why it was necessary to hire Ahrendts to run Apple retail, unless she has unique knowledge of Chinese markets (for example) that another hire could not provide?



    Also, I wonder how she views her position at Apple? Is she being groomed as an eventual Cook replacement? Why go from CEO of a successful fashion brand to a lesser role otherwise?



    I suppose one always wants to be the one holding the reigns, but I think Ahrendts just realized how good this opportunity is/was for her.  She may run a big fashion gig in the UK, but not very many people (imho) outside of the UK know about it.  Apple is global, and unless one has lived off the grid, under a rock... everyone knows Apple and it's a huge, huge deal.  She probably saw it as a challenge to really up her game.  Sure... perhaps one day she will take over from Tim Cook.  I'm not sure how her relationship with Ive's is, but if it's a good one, maybe even more so the chance.

  • Reply 4 of 13
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,737moderator
    I'm still unsure why it was necessary to hire Ahrendts to run Apple retail, unless she has unique knowledge of Chinese markets (for example) that another hire could not provide?

    Someone had to run it as a replacement for Ron Johnson and John Browett before her. Browett came from managing a low budget tech store and that didn't work so they must have decided high fashion was a better match, especially considering their venture into wearables. Apple products have been featured at fashion events e.g iPhone/Burberry. There's not much evidence to suggest she's repeating Browett's mistakes so far (nor Johnson's at JC Penney). At the end of the day, any individual is only putting a day's work like everyone else so the sky high evaluations on people's jobs are not particularly meaningful. They might be able to take an employee currently on minimum wage and put them in charge of retail and have it run just as smoothly but the opportunity is only given to people who have worked their way into the top echelon first. Ahrendts managed this within years of leaving university and once you are there, you can rack up decades of experience at the top, which looks very good on paper.
    Also, I wonder how she views her position at Apple? Is she being groomed as an eventual Cook replacement? Why go from CEO of a successful fashion brand to a lesser role otherwise?

    It's a lesser role at a bigger company (>100x bigger by income). Being CEO would come with more responsibility than head of retail. Being paid more to do less would be appealing to a lot of people. Also she had a long distance relationship with her husband in the US for years. Moving to the US to be closer was an incentive too. I don't think she'll replace Cook as they are the same age so Cook would have to want to retire before her. He said years ago that he expected Steve to still be running the company long after he retired but those plans will have changed and he's indicated that he's in it for the haul.
    rogifan wrote:
    She hasn't been on stage at any Apple event (even though she's known for her public speaking).

    She used to be CEO so public speaking would have been expected but from the videos I've seen, she's not very good at it. Riccio and Mansfield haven't done much speaking either although they appear in product videos. There's not much she can really say about the stores except report on traffic, profitability etc.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    This NY Times piece wonders what's up with Angela. She hasn't been on stage at any Apple event (even though she's known for her public speaking). She didn't attend the ?Watch Hermés launch party (Jony Ive, Marc Newson and Paul Deneve were there) and its Jony Ive front and center with Apple's sponsorship of the Met Gala. maybe this is just her (or Apple's) way of saying she was hired to run retail, not be the public face of the company or SVP of Fashion.



    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/27/fashion/apple-and-the-elusive-angela-ahrendts.html?_r=1

    I think you're exactly right. She sounds like someone who wants to put her nose to the grindstone, and get into the weeds of where Apple's $230B in sales are actually happening.

     

    After all, it's precisely that sort of thing at the upstream end of Apple's value chain that got Cook to where he is today.

  • Reply 6 of 13
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I think you're exactly right. She sounds like someone who wants to put her nose to the grindstone, and get into the weeds of where Apple's $230B in sales are actually happening.

    After all, it's precisely that sort of thing at the upstream end of Apple's value chain that got Cook to where he is today.

    Yeah and retail has never really been a public facing position at Apple. I'm not aware of Ron Johnson ever being on stage at an Apple event. And I don't think he gave many interviews either.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member
    Very few people speak as the public face of Apple. Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue... and that's about it. And even they don't say much.

    Jony rarely says anything about the business of Apple itself, more about general design philosophy. Phil Schiller basically talks up how obsessively detailed it was to make this project or that, still without going into actual details. Eddy Cue seems to gives the widest ranging interviews, occasionally throwing out a rehearsed non-sequitur hint like "hope I don't get roaming charges!". And Tim is like a steel trap -- he manages to talk at length about Apple's existing businesses without giving the slightest hint of what they might do next.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    I'm still unsure why it was necessary to hire Ahrendts to run Apple retail, unless she has unique knowledge of Chinese markets (for example) that another hire could not provide?

    and i dont understand why it would be necessary to hire someone else, since as the former CEO of a successful retail company she has the qualifications needed to run retail. what is your complaint, specifically?
  • Reply 9 of 13
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    I'm still unsure why it was necessary to hire Ahrendts to run Apple retail, unless she has unique knowledge of Chinese markets (for example) that another hire could not provide?

    Also, I wonder how she views her position at Apple? Is she being groomed as an eventual Cook replacement? Why go from CEO of a successful fashion brand to a lesser role otherwise?

    Ummm I don't know? Why would I wanna go from a manager position at Burger King to a supervisor position at Toyota?
  • Reply 10 of 13
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,702member
    Marvin wrote: »
    She used to be CEO so public speaking would have been expected but from the videos I've seen, she's not very good at it. Riccio and Mansfield haven't done much speaking either although they appear in product videos. There's not much she can really say about the stores except report on traffic, profitability etc.
    My thought exactly. Not everyone is cut out for public speaking. And I have seen nothing to suggest she is not doing a fantastic job.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    I'm still unsure why it was necessary to hire Ahrendts to run Apple retail, unless she has unique knowledge of Chinese markets (for example) that another hire could not provide?

    Okay, who did you have in mind?
    Also, I wonder how she views her position at Apple? Is she being groomed as an eventual Cook replacement? Why go from CEO of a successful fashion brand to a lesser role otherwise?

    For the challenge … and because Apple threw a massive pile of cash at her.

    As for her replacing Cook, well she's a few months older than he is, so I'm not sure if that's the plan.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Is she going to speak on the Genius Bar improving in the "year ahead?" Because it needs to. Badly.
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