Ina Fried

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Apple Hires Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to Head Retail Efforts

Apple said late Monday that it has hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to serve as head of its retail efforts.


Ahrendts, who will join in the spring, will serve as senior VP and will report to CEO Tim Cook. She was among a list of people seen as top candidates for the position.

“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,” Ahrendts said in a statement. “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 has had some key vacancies in its retail operations since Ron Johnson left the company to run J.C. Penney. Johnson was replaced by former Dixons head John Browett, who was ousted by Cook a year ago. Another retail executive, VP Jerry McDougal, resigned in January.

Ahrendts, 53, has been CEO of Burberry since July 2006. From 1998 to 2006, she was an executive VP at Liz Claiborne, and also served at Henri Bendel and Donna Karan International.

Apple and Burberry collaborated in September, with Apple giving the retailer early access to the iPhone 5s to photograph the company’s London runway show.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle