The CEO of Apple Inc. has confirmed that Angela Ahrendts will be taking up her role as Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores next week. The announcement directly contradicts rumors of Ahrendts sticking around Burberry until summer to collect a hefty bonus.Tim Cook announcing her official hiring next week suggests either that Apple has agreed to compensate her and start early, or that Ahrendts decided to forego the bonus in question (valued at a reported £8 million / $13.4 million / €9.71 million).
Ahrendts, currently the CEO of British fashion house Burberry, will be joining Apple in a newly-created position and will report directly to Cook.
According to Apple’s announcement from October 2013, “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.”
In announcing the hire, Cook said he was absolutely ecstatic to have Ahrendts joining the executive ranks at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California.
“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 herself said at the time she was “profoundly honored” to join the company that created the Mac and the iPhone, adding that she “very much look[ed] forward to working with the global teams to further enrich the consumer experience on and offline.”
“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 Burberry CEO said.
Prior to Burberry, Ahrendts was executive vice president at Liz Claiborne Inc. She also worked at Donna Karan International where she served as president. Ahrendts is not only a key hire set to reignite the company’s retail and online sales, but is also believed to be a good CEO successor, having instated similar values at Burberry.
In a recent editorial we opined that one of the main reasons behind Cook’s hire was to have someone with experience in fashion / luxury products to sell the upcoming iWatch. The speculation was spurred by a report from KGI Securities, which claimed that the iWatch could run in “the thousands of US dollars.”