The question of whether she lives up to her enthusiastic advance billing as “the most important hire Tim Cook has ever made” and even the “future Apple CEO” is yet to be answered, but one thing’s for certain: outgoing Burberry CEO (and incoming Apple head of retail and online sales) Angela Ahrendts sure sounded like one of the Apple family when summing up her time with the fashion house recently.
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Tim Cook caused quite a stir in the worlds of both tech and fashion earlier this year when he announced that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts would be leaving the famous trench-coat maker to head up Apple’s retail divisions.
Ahrendts new position at Apple alone wields great power, but when you combine it with her incredible turn around of the Burberry brand, its no wonder many are starting to consider her one of the most powerful executives in the world, which is exactly why Fortune placed Ahrendts at #4 of its annual list of the top people in business.
She doesn’t take over at Apple until Spring 2014 but Ahrendts received the nod from the business mag for her work redefining Burberry’s brand and the subsequent 29% bump in the company’s stock price.
Here’s Fortune’s praise for Ahrendts:
Cloud computing giant Marc Benioff has praised hailed Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s new head of retail and online sales, as the “future Apple CEO.” Referring to her in a Tuesday tweet as “the most important hire Tim Cook has ever made”, Benioff’s toasting of Ahrendts has left analysts asking whether it is simply a show of support for Burberry’s outgoing CEO — or evidence that Benioff knows more than he is letting on, following disappointing fourth quarter numbers for Apple.
Until two days ago, Apple had been without a head of retail for nearly a year. As part of the upper-management reshuffling Tim Cook oversaw last October, John Browett was let go after filling the role for only six months. Apple executives reportedly clashed with Browett, who previously had been the CEO of British retailer Dixons, and he didn’t seem to leave Apple on the best of terms.
After a year of searching, Apple has finally found a Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores: Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of Burberry in Britain. She’s coming to Apple at a very crucial time in the company’s development post-Steve Jobs, and although she’s worked in fashion most of her life, she looks like the perfect fit.
Here are 10 things to know about Angela Ahrendts:
Apple has today announced that Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, will be joining the Cupertino company to take up a newly-created position as senior vice president of retail and online stores. Ahrendts will report directly to CEO Tim Cook and will oversee the strategic direction, expansion, and operation of Apple’s retail business.