How Tim Cook persuaded Angela Ahrendts to join Apple

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Photo: Mac Otakara/Twitter
Angela Ahrendts at the opening of a new Apple Store in Tokyo. Photo: Mac Otakara/Twitter

Much has been made of the managerial differences between Tim Cook and predecessor Steve Jobs, and unsurprisingly that extends to their respective approaches to recruitment, too.

Jobs famously recruited Apple engineer Bob Belleville by telling him that, “Everything you’ve ever done in your life is shit, so why don’t you come work for me?”

Tim Cook, on the other hand, takes a slightly softer tack — as evidenced by a new Fortune article, revealing how Cook recruited Apple’s retail guru Angela Ahrendts to join the company from her previous prominent role as CEO at Burberry.

As the article explains, Ahrendts came to the meeting with Apple from a position of strength, and decided to speak with Tim Cook more out of interest than anything. However, Cook quickly made a strong impression.

“The first time I sat down with him, I walked away thinking wow, that’s a man of peace,” Ahrendts says. “I just absolutely loved his integrity, his values. Nothing anybody can write, say, or do is going to take him off of always doing the right thing. Not just for Apple, but for Apple’s people, for communities, for countries. The world needs more leaders like Tim.”

According to Ahrendts, her initial meetings with Cook focused on establishing whether she was a good cultural fit for Apple, rather than diving into her previous experience. “We talked about the future of retail, about where is retail going and what is Apple’s role in that,” she continues. “We talked much more about the future. We didn’t talk a lot about fashion.”

Cook, meanwhile, is full of praise for Angela Ahrendts, who some have even speculated could be his successor as CEO, making Ahrendts Apple’s first ever female CEO.

“She’s a perfect culture fit,” he told Fortune. “Within a week, it felt like she’d been there a year. And now it feels like she’s been there multiple years. When you start to finish each other’s sentences, this is a good thing.”

In 2014, Ahrendts was Apple’s highest paid executive, taking home a whopping $64 million+ more than Tim Cook.

Source: Fortune