Apple’s retail operation is about to get a whole lot more fashionable — and possibly a touch more elitist. It has been nearly a year since John Browett, the executive who replaced longtime Apple retail head Ron Johnson, was fired. Browett was hired in January last year after Johnson left for a brief 17-month stint as JCPenney’s CEO, and Browett’s tenure would be even shorter; he was let go just nine months after CEO Tim Cook hired him. Apple announced on Monday evening that beginning in the spring next year, Angela Ahrendts will join the company to head Apple’s retail business. Ahrendts will join Apple as senior vice president of retail and online stores after leaving her post as CEO of high-end British luxury brand Burberry.
“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,” Ahrendts said in a statement. “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.”
The company’s full press release follows below.
Angela Ahrendts to Join Apple as Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores
CUPERTINO, California—October 14, 2013—Apple® today announced that Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, will be joining Apple in a newly created position, as a senior vice president and member of our executive team, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.
Ahrendts will have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores, which have redefined the shopping experience for hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Apple retail stores set the standard for customer service with innovative features like the Genius Bar®, Personal Setup and One to One personal training to help customers get the most out of their Apple products.
“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.”
Ahrendts will join Apple in the spring from Burberry, where she serves as CEO and has led the company through a period of outstanding global growth. 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.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.