Apple hires Burberry CEO to head retail operations

Apple today announced it has hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to head its retail business. Ahrendts will join in spring as a newly created senior vice president position and will report 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, the company said in a statement. This is Apple’s second significant hiring from the fashion industry. Earlier this year, Apple had announced it had hired CEO of French fashion firm Yves Saint Laurent Paul Deneve as vice president of Special Projects. He too would report to Cook.

Apple had been searching for someone to head its retail business that includes its own physical stores as well as country-specific online stores. Apple Stores have the world’s highest revenue per square feet, even higher than Tiffany & Co. The void at the top was left after Apple fired John Browett in a management shakeup last October. Browett had joined Apple from Dixons in January the same year, substituting Ron Johnson, who along with the late Steve Jobs masterminded Apple Stores. He quit Apple after Jobs’ death and joined JC Penney.

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