October 16, 2013

Apple hires Burberry executive to run its stores

Her addition should help the company deflect any criticism about the lack of women in its upper ranks.

By Michael Liedtke
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is entrusting the elegant stores that help define its brand to Angela Ahrendts, a respected executive who blended fashion sense with technological savvy to establish Burberry as a mark of luxury and success.

The hiring announced Tuesday is a coup for Apple Inc. Besides providing the Cupertino, Calif., company with another sharp mind, Ahrendts should help Apple deflect potential criticism about the lack of women in the upper ranks of its management.

Silicon Valley’s long-running reliance on men to make key decisions has come into sharper focus as online messaging service Twitter Inc. prepares to go public.

Twitter’s closely scrutinized IPO documents called attention to the San Francisco company’s all-male board of directors and the presence of just one woman in its executive inner circle.

Apple has one woman, former Avon Products Inc. CEO Andrea Jung, among the eight directors on its board.

Ahrendts will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook when she leaves Burberry to join Apple next spring in a newly created position of senior vice president in charge of retail and online stores.

Ahrendts telegraphed her admiration of Apple in 2010 when The Wall Street Journal asked her if she was trying to mold Burberry into something similar to other luxury brands in the fashion industry.

“I don’t look at Gucci or Chanel or anyone,” Ahrendts told the Journal. “If I look to any company as a model, it’s Apple. They’re a brilliant design company working to create a lifestyle, and that’s the way I see us.”

Ahrendts’ arrival comes at a crucial time for Apple and the stores that serve as the main showcase for its iPhones, iPads, iPods and Mac computers.

Like the rest of the company, Apple’s stores aren’t doing quite as well as they once were, primarily because tougher competition has forced the company to trim its prices.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)