Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has at last found the person to fill the position left vacant after the company’s former retail chief, John Browett, was fired last year. The company announced on Monday that it has hired Angela Ahrendts, the head of British fashion house Burberry, as its new senior vice president of retail and online stores.
Ahrendts, who will start working with Apple next spring, will be a member of the company’s executive team and will report to CEO Tim Cook. She will have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores, according to Apple.
As Apple said in the official announcement, the new "SVP of Retail and Online Stores" position is new to the company’s organizational chart. The new role is likely to provide Ahrendts with more control over the company's important Apple Store business compared to Browett, who served as Apple’s SVP of Retail for nine months, Apple Insider reported.
“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.”
According to AllThingsD, Ahrendts was part of a select group of people -- including executives from Coach, Nike, Starbucks and Disney -- who were considered top candidates for the position.
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“I am thrilled that Angela will be joining our team,” Cook said, in the statement. “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.”
Ahrendts, 53, has been CEO of Burberry since July 2006. From 1998 to 2006 she was executive vice president at Liz Claiborne Inc., and earlier in her career, she served as president of Donna Karan International.
In September, Apple and Burberry collaborated with the iPhone-maker giving the luxury retailer early access to the iPhone 5s to capture the company’s runway show in London.