Apple has announced the hiring of Angela Ahrendts as their new Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores. Ahrendts, currently the CEO for Burberry, will transition out of that position fully by mid-2014, joining Apple’s executive team next spring.
The position has remained vacant since last October when Apple John Browett was fired after spending less than six months on the job. Apple has been looking to replace Ron Johnson, who left the company after spending over 12 years at Apple. Johnson is often credited with the successful growth of Apple Store retail stores, after also having been successful launching the Michael Graves line and helping to reshape the image of Target. His success at Apple could not be replicated at JCPenny’s where Johnson was met with criticism from customers who did not take well to the lack of heavy discounts on products, removed at Johnson’s behest in favor of ‘fair pricing’. Johnson was fired in April of 2013.
Ahrendt will report directly to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook.
“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.”
Ahrendts brings a strong retail background, with experience in China, where Burberry has 69 stores. Upon joining Apple, she will be responsible for the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both online and retail stores.