October 15, 2013, 9:45 AM

Apple hires Burberry’s CEO as its retail chief

Angela Ahrendts will oversee online and bricks-and-mortar stores.

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Angela Ahrendts

Apple Inc. announced today it has hired Burberry Ltd. CEO Angela Ahrendts as its senior vice president, heading up retail sales.

Apple says Ahrendts will oversee both the strategy and operations for its online and bricks-and-mortar stores. She will report to CEO Tim Cook and will start working at Apple in the spring. “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,” she says. “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.”

Apple is No. 3 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide.

Ahrendts had been CEO of Burberry, No. 196 in the 2013 Europe 500 Guide since 2006. Prior to that role she was an executive vice president at women’s apparel and accessories brand Liz Claiborne.

“She shares our values and our focus on innovation, and she places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience,” says Cook.

Ahrendts takes over an Apple retail division that has been without a clear leader since the company fired John Browett, senior vice president of retail, about a year ago. Browett took over the division from Ron Johnson, who had held that position for 11 years before joining J.C. Penney Co. Inc. as the retail chain’s CEO, until J. C. Penney fired him in April.

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