Apple’s New Head Of Retail Is A Watch Lady

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Tim Cook revealed in an internal email to employees today that he’s had his sights set on Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts for quite sometime, and while Ahrendts’ work at Burberry is what won her the spot, new details about Ahrendts suggest that her affinity for watches has been an added bonus for Apple as it prepares to launch the iWatch.

According to former WSJ reporter Jessica Lessin, people who know Ahrendts say she is a “watch lady” and took a particular interest in the watch retailing space of Burberry’s stores:

“Apple’s new retail chief Angela Ahrendts is a watch lady, say people who know her. I am certainly not implying that Apple, which is developing the iWatch, nabbed this high-profile executive because she loves watches or because one of her most recent additions to the Burberry line was a very high-end watch brand (both true).  I also hear she took particular interest in the watch retailing space in Burberry stores.”

Rumors have been swirling for months that Apple is developing a smartwatch that might be released by spring 2014, but Ahrendts isn’t expected to transition from her position as Burberry CEO to Senior VP of Retail until spring 2014 as well, which would give her little time have a huge say in the development of the iWatch, but the retail experience is bound to have Ahrendts fingerprints all over it.

Ironically, Apple was battling with J.C. Penney to hire Ahrendts away from Burberry after Apple’s former VP of Retail, Ron Johnson, was booted from his CEO post at J.C. Penney. Ron Johnson talked to Bloomberg TV this morning about Apple’s hiring of Ahrendts to take his old position and said she’s a “terrific choice,” that will be “exceptionally well received.”

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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