Angela Ahrendts: From Plaid Bags to Shiny White Phones

Monday, October 21 2013

CUPERTINO, California - This spring Apple will introduce a woman onto its executive team. Indiana native Angela Ahrendts will join the tech company as Head of Retail and E-Commerce. Since 2006 Ahrendts has been the CEO of British Luxury Fashion Brand, Burberry, where reinvented the 150-year old brand and tripled revenues.

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The announcement has been touted as proof of the brand's strategy to firmly establish itself as an upscale lifestyle band

by moving from hiring mass-market execs to more high-end profiles. At Burberry, Ahrendts was able to transform the brand precisely by removing its signature plaid and focusing on re-establishing the brand as a lifestyle product. The fashion brand is now also known for its clever social media and web presence.

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Apple has created a new position for Ahrendts, who will be senior vice president and member of the executive team, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook. She will oversee the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores.

"I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team," said Cook. "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 am 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," said Ahrendts. "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."

Prior to Burberry, she was executive vice president at Liz Claiborne Inc., and earlier in her career she served as president of Donna Karan International. Ahrendts, 53 is also a mother of 3.

Ahrendts has recently spoke at Ted Talks about the power of human energy; something she has been able to harness well in her career.


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